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Saving the world from loose nukes

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Let's start this off with something from a month ago:


Yes, that's right, last month South African police arrested four men with the material to make a dirty bomb.

If you don't remember (and how many of us bother?), South Africa was where a gang attacked a nuclear plant in 2007 and nearly got away with some senstive materials. They did manage to kill one security guard. What they didn't get was the presumed target, 14 pounds of highly enriched uranimum (more than enough to make a nuclear bomb big enough to nuke any U.S. city).

In June of 2011, the NNSA (National Nuclear Security Association - or a part of the US government), sent South Africa $25 million to assist in the changing of production for MO-99 from using weapons grade Highly Enriched Uranium to LEU (Low Enriched Uranium). LEU cannot be made into a nuclear weapon (although it can be used as a dirty bomb).

Today the NNSA reported that they have secured nearly 14 pounds of HEU from South Africa. It is in a secure facility here in the United States. It doesn't take a lot of investigation to understand that the money sent to South Africa has resulted in enough HEU to make a full nuclear bomb has been taken from a high-risk location to a much more secure location.

Tonight, the world is a safer place.

It's nice to see a government agency that does the job it is assigned, and uses our taxes to make this world a safer, better place for Americans. We know organizations like al-queada would love to get their hands on that 14 pounds of HEU and use it to nuke one of our cities. Tonight, thanks to the US government, that is a little harder.

Maybe that's why in his 2012 budget proposal, President Obama proposed increasing the agency's funding. http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2011_03/NNSA

I say Yay! We need programs that make sense and this is one of them. Oh, wait, yeah, should have seen this coming...Republicans cut the agency by $1 billion for FY 12. Yup, I guess it's kind of hard to afford preventing the use of nuclear weapons against our country. We've gotta cut that deficit ya know!


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