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FrederickS
08-18-2011, 10:39 PM
One of my antagonist has obtained HEU pellets (origin is Kazakhstan, if that makes any difference).
He is using a welding torch, thermite and boiled aliminum (with a little help from a funnel and a good old fashioned cast iron skillet) to release the maximum amount if radioactivity into the local environment. No concern for his personal welfare as this is an act of Jihad.
So how long until he is blind - or will the welder's mask make that negligible as he'll die before blindness?
Any clue as to what the process of welding / boiling HEU will look, sound and smell like?
At that level of exposure to HEU and without an NBC suit, how long until he becomes so weak, he can't weld anymore?

As far as the Amonium Nitrate Fuel Oil devices: Over 1,000 pounds of ANFO with access to steel plates to shape the charges for maximum damage. About fifty pounds of Semtex for detonation. All in the back of a school bus which can be modified to suit the purpose e.g. the roof can be cut off and replaced with thin aluminum. What would be the best way to maximize damage while stopped on large, crowded, single level suspension bridge?

Thanks!

Snick
08-18-2011, 11:19 PM
One of my antagonist has obtained HEU pellets (origin is Kazakhstan, if that makes any difference).
He is using a welding torch, thermite and boiled aliminum (with a little help from a funnel and a good old fashioned cast iron skillet) to release the maximum amount if radioactivity into the local environment. No concern for his personal welfare as this is an act of Jihad.
So how long until he is blind - or will the welder's mask make that negligible as he'll die before blindness?
Any clue as to what the process of welding / boiling HEU will look, sound and smell like?
At that level of exposure to HEU and without an NBC suit, how long until he becomes so weak, he can't weld anymore?

I have never sen boiling HEU, but I doubt that your terrorist ould see it either. That isn't because he would go blind, but he would quickly find that the Thermite got the HEU burning also. I am asuming that he had a reasonable amount of Thermite and mixed the pellets in and started the Thermite burning. Exact quantities would vary, but just putting the mixture in the open efore starting it would spread the raadioactivity as well as anything could.


As far as the Amonium Nitrate Fuel Oil devices: Over 1,000 pounds of ANFO with access to steel plates to shape the charges for maximum damage. About fifty pounds of Semtex for detonation. All in the back of a school bus which can be modified to suit the purpose e.g. the roof can be cut off and replaced with thin aluminum. What would be the best way to maximize damage while stopped on large, crowded, single level suspension bridge?

Thanks!

If I ere trying to destroy a suspensio bridge, then I would concentrate my efforts on one of the piers. I haven't ever considered the way to destroy such things, but putting the bus beside the pier and setting it off would be your best bet. Taking out the support for th cables in one side would make the bridge unusable for a long time, but I have no idea how long it would take for the pier to collapse, or if it would.

thothguard51
08-19-2011, 12:00 AM
I could tell you the secret, but then the Department of Homeland insecurity would send guys in a black hawk helo to my house to take me to some undisclosed secret location to question me and I do have a dinner date tonight I don't want to miss...

Take that Strunk...

Drachen Jager
08-19-2011, 12:05 AM
That much ANFO should collapse the tower on a suspension bridge. Steel plate won't help direct the charge as much as proper shaping. In this case you want it to blow out the side, so a half-cylinder as tall as possible would probably be the best shape, with the flat side pointed at the target.

I don't think burning uranium would spread it very effectively at all. In the time scale you're talking about your antagonist would experience burns much like a really bad sunburn (google it for images). Radiation at that level doesn't weaken or kill on a short timescale, as long as he's not breathing in the fumes directly he'd probably be fine physically for a few hours at least. Maybe some vomiting and physical weakness after extended exposure (more quickly if he's breathing it in).

FrederickS
08-19-2011, 05:43 AM
Thanks all. So let's say we have a solid wind blowing south. He wants radioactivity to be easily detected for five miles or so. What is the minimum amount of pellets he would need to burn in open air and for how long? I was hoping he could get away with 5 kg. or less of HEU pellets.

Drachen Jager
08-19-2011, 06:37 AM
You can't really burn uranium as far as I am aware. I don't really know what you're talking about here. Can you explain? He's melting it with thermite and a torch, then what?

It also makes no sense to distribute uranium that way. A dirty bomb would make some sense, but for all the effort of obtaining enriched uranium he'd be much better served by making a biological or chemical weapon which anyone with an internet connection and half a brain can manage from commonly available products.

thothguard51
08-19-2011, 07:06 AM
Burning will not vaporize the HEU.

If I was a terrorist, I would pulverize the pellets and pack the power inside a bomb to allow the blast to spread the radioactive debris. This is what is known as a dirty bomb.

Not sure it would spread 5 miles as it would depend on a lot of variables like updrafts, wind shears, shifting winds, temperature, or if it settles on water...

Snick
08-19-2011, 07:46 AM
Radiiological bombs are not effective. Drachen is largely correct. Whether your terrorist using a torch or thermite; that isn't s very good way to spread radioactivity You might want to consider the Chernobyl accident and how ineffective that was. If you want to kill a large number of people, then you should consider biological things.

asnys
08-21-2011, 11:19 PM
If you want your terrorist to use a dirty bomb, I would suggest using a material other than HEU. HEU is not very radioactive - it has a half life of 700 million years - and is much harder to obtain then a medical radiation source like radiocesium.