Sunday, November 25, 2007

Nuclear Materials Thefts At Record High in Canada

Story here.

News of the jump in thefts and lost material coincides
with an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) meeting in Europe at which
nuclear counter-terrorism specialists were told this week of an almost four-fold
increase in nuclear smuggling since 2006, a further indication that
al-Qaeda-inspired radicals may be trying to obtain radioactive material for a

Highly-enriched uranium and plutonium, the essential
ingredients for a nuclear bomb, remain obvious concerns. But officials are also
worried about nuclear material in millions of radioactive sources, typically in
measuring and analytical equipment used in medicine, industry, agriculture and
research, that could be extracted and spewed into the air using conventional
high explosives. The primary intent would be to panic a population rather than
inflict mass causalities.

As of Wednesday, 26 radioactive sources have been reported
lost and stolen so far this year in Canada, compared to 15 last year and a dozen
in 2005, according to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), the federal
nuclear regulator.

Fourteen devices this year remain missing, twice as many
as last year when six were not recovered and almost three times the five still
missing from 2005.

I'm now perceiving a pattern. And, no, that isn't just from this report. It's cumulative over time and international.

I've blogged about Osama bin Laden's "American Hiroshima" plot involving a dirty bomb. With reports of accelerating thefts of radioactive materials year over year, one must necessarily wonder what, if anything, the state apparatus is doing to get serious about preventing such thefts. One must also wonder (not only due to rising radioactive materials thefts, but also due to many other reports indicating appallingly, shockingly lax national security practices) whether, despite this being the post-9/11 era, our governments are really all that concerned about the very real and present danger of terrorist or other attacks in North America. Surely, if it can happen everywhere else in the world, one must deduct that it must also happen here, as, of course, the same enemies have declared North America to be in their crosshairs.

We don't actually see or even hear of there being a lot of government activity to prevent terrorism and other forms of enemy attack; quite the contrary, in fact. Perhaps this is by design: maybe the government prefers to keep it secretive and low-profile so as to not make the population worry needlessly. On the other hand, it's also possible that the Left and the MSM (with obvious encouragement from our enemies) have exerted sufficient pressure against our governments to deter them from being more aggressive about protecting our safety and security from enemy attack. Unfortunately, we really don't know what is the case and I fear we'll end up finding out the hard way, that far too many executive decision-makers haven't yet learned the lessons of history...