Jan 25 2007

Po-210 Is Useful As A Nuclear Trigger

For those who wonder what would someone want so much Po-210 that it required three ‘consignments’ to get the material through London, when only 10 millionths of a gram wa required to kill Litvinenko (200 times over). Well, let’s not forget that beyond its high toxicity, it is a key element in old nuclear trigger designs. All you need is some other materials and some uranium:

Last January, a Russian man with sunken cheeks and a wispy mustache crossed into Georgia and traveled to Tbilisi by car along a high mountain road. In two plastic bags in his leather jacket, Georgian authorities say, he carried 100 grams of uranium so refined that it could help fuel an atom bomb.

The Russian, Oleg Khinsagov, had come to meet a buyer who he believed would pay him $1 million and deliver the material to a Muslim man from “a serious organization,” the authorities say.

The uranium was a sample, just under four ounces, and the deal a test: If all went smoothly, he boasted, he would sell a far larger cache stored in his apartment back in Vladikavkaz, two to three kilograms of the rare material, four and a half to six and a half pounds, which in expert hands is enough to make a small bomb.

So the stable materials for a bomb start coming out in January, and the final, unstable material shows up in October? Coincidence?

18 responses so far

18 Responses to “Po-210 Is Useful As A Nuclear Trigger”

  1. mrmeangenes says:

    As everybody here probably knows, PO210 is mixed or alloyed (I suspect the latter method is preferred) with Beryllium and functions as a neutron generator.

    I started to ask a friend whether this mixture/alloy would have a greater half-life, but withdrew the question, as the answer MIGHT be highly classified.

  2. gh says:

    No the half-life would be the same. Basic physics is not classified. Sorry.

  3. MerlinOS2 says:

    The operative word here is old.

    Weapons that used PO 210 as triggers are many years ago tech.

    Even if you had one and could marry a new trigger to it which requires more than PO 210 the uranium in the weapons components has undergone almost 20 years of decay.

    It is likely that the yield of one of these weapons would be greatly reduced, and by now may even result in a fizzle.

    Nuke weapons don’t last forever, they are sent for rebuild and reprocessing because of decay of the make boom material.

    We ourselves are in the design phase of a new generation of nuclear weapons to replace our current inventory. It ain’t easy science but we are working a new design.

    For the amount of money that would have to be spent by someone to put together a rogue nuclear weapon they could create thousands of conventional car bombs if they had enough supporters to place and detonate them with a more widespread effect.

  4. Carol_Herman says:

    A plastic bag? While here, in America, dry cleaners are forced to stamp on their plastic bags “do not put this over your head, because it can cause asphyxiation. Well, some parents let their toddlers play in closets, I guess?

    While in russia, you’ll notice the personal stupidity involved in carrying “samples.”

    As to the “trigger” for nukes, again, I noticed the Manhattan Project to the dull muzzies is 9/11. While for American students, who are good at math and science; not only have computer games to play on; where they can simulate “cities” and “businesses” and war. They also learn about Einstein. Can understand the math. And, study science. Curiosity is a much stronger device than islam’s current terrorist recruitment centers in mosques. Even though they’ve gone “world-wide.”

    And, I don’t doubt that the russians are BAD PLAYERS! That most of America’s mistakes started with Truman. (Though, for some reason, FDR did force the Brits to accept that phoney baloney “Shang-Hi-Check” as a the fifth seated member on the security council.) So right at the beginning the UN would fail. And, take a lot of bozos with them. That we still have this shit hanging in a building in Manhattan? Back in the old days the site wasn’t even suitable for a parking lot. It was never “all that accessible to Manhattanites. And, the very rich plunked themselves in Sutton Place. Which is another reason some areas don’t grow. But the UN did. A farce from Day One.

    As to the ability to buy nuke plans off of the back covers of magazines; I remember when you could treat yourself to a “new body” by sending away money, the same way. And, you could also become an artist, if you followed the instructions on a matchbook cover.

    Yes. Evil. In Londonstan. But the worst of it is the aristocrats who run England. And, have a school system that chases everyone else away. So you really don’t have citizens there, you have “subjects.” And, not subjects to change, either.

    On the other hand? As I said, the HOUSE OF SAUD spends megabucks on CRAP. Even what got built in Dubai; to immitate the citizens of Hong Kong and Singapore; does not make a thriving city come to life in the desert sands. But, yes. Architects from major firms had the joy of selling the turbaned idiots an “idea.”

    Money changes more hands on this garbage that you know.

    And, for all the money spent on polonium-210, somehow a COMEDY OF ERRORS occurred. And, only one man, so far, is dead. And, since he didn’t die all at once. Or go into a coma immediately; he had about two weeks of hell to pay. While to get a bit of barbituates, no nurse stood there taking notes with a pad and pencil. He got the shots “free.” And, so all the knowledge of what happened is not for us to know.

    Don’t laugh. Putin has better methods of collecting “data” from thieves.

    And, often enough, even if you’ve spent lots of money, your plans can go awry. (Or the groom decides not to show up.)

    I couldn’t help thinking, as I watched the SOTU address; how the HOUSE OF SAUD knows the inside of the HOUSE-ROOM. And, how vulnerable our president was. How vulnerable our NATION WAS! Because right behind the President sat two people who are in line for the Oval Office, IF our President dies in office. (Nobody has yet tried the “hat trick.” But, I’m sticking with what I believe.) From putin, to Tony Blair; to the cretins with all their obscounded wealth; they’d had laughed when they heard the planned “chatter.”

    Now? Tony Blair worries about the Olympics in 2012. As well he should! Plus, Scotland Yard ain’t what it used to be! Let’s hope we’ve got improvements, though, in DC’s CIA. Because I think Rumsfeld did excellent work. And, the stuff that’s really great? He can’t even brag about it. Keeping secrets is preferable.

  5. Carol_Herman says:

    By the way. Those OLD WEAPONS (from what I read about ours) are heavy fellas. And, they sit in silo’s. Buried deep underground.

    So IF the “old” technology is being opened by idiots, who remove some of the contents, what they seem to be selling is on par with USED TIRES FROM OLD CARS.

    Again, you can’t make a new car with old tires.

    And, this “business” is something on par with jerks who rip up antiquities (destroying them in the process). All because there are rich putz’s out there who spend their money to own crap. (It’s not always $16,000 shower curtains! And, $10,000 umbrella stands. (which brings me to remember a delightful evening listening to Lewis Black expound on people who buy shit because they think if they own it they die rich. But he suggested? Heck, he has an umbrella stand. And, it’s called a bathtub.)

    While most of the shelves in russia remain empty. So what leads most of the citizens to trade. And, to go to something that’s working, to STEAL PARTS, is one sick culture. Who doom themselves. They can’t manufacture shit. But they sure can get journalists’ panties in a wad.

    While where it counts most, is that Bush has the ability to take actions. QUIETLY. I’ll bet we have good secrets hidden away. While we “conjecture” on how the heck did Litvinenko’s tent get folded? Wasn’t sushi.

  6. Christoph says:

    Damn, you’re an idiot, Carol. What the hell are you talking about?

  7. Carol_Herman says:

    Folks, russia has nothing to sell. She’s UNPRODUCTIVE. Can’t make shit.

    Even the stuff that’s on the black market, comes from stuff that people steal from their neighbors.

    As to not understanding the nukes that got built starting in the 1950’s, which were meant to terrorize the West;

    Heck, just like the stuff NATO planted around the Continent. Ballistic missiles. (Not missiles in your pants.)

    Big guys. That took an enormous explosion to get them airborne.

    Even bombs that would get dropped from planes, were “fat boys.” And, weighed a lot. If you ever saw a film showing one being loaded on board, say the Enola Gay.

    Here, you have russians who have access to the stock. And, I did say, above, that in America we put out missiles into SILO’s. Big suckers. Missiles can be as tall as ten story buildings.

    The russian mob goes to their wearhouses to remove components of stuff that hasn’t rusted away. I’d bet ya that seeing Litvinenko type poisonings isn’t new to russian doctors, either. Siince exposure to this junk leads to radiation illnesses.

    Now, we know that in London, there’s a ratcheting up. Beyond the knapsacks designed to explode (using a martyr), on busses and subways; there’s “something else.” And, that something else involves smuggling where when the smuggler’s sit down, for some reasons, the containers they carry, allow “jumping alpha particles” to be deposited in their wake. Or through the seats of their pants. Or like cocaine residue, “on the money.”

    We just don’t know.

    But there are buyers and sellers, here. And, all I am saying is that none of them are geniuses.

    And, one way this could have started, was by some ideas entering the HOUSE OF SAUD’s tent. Pretty much selling “death to the infidels,” by having plans that were not drawn up by scientists. Or even tested.

    Japan had to deal with a nutty group that did experiment, and eventually sprayed innocent Japanese passengers on a train, going from one station to another. The product was RICIN.

    Yes, it’s possible to kill civilians.

    But that’s not a sane objective. The greatest generals, like Patton, for instance, wanted to kill soldiers. To kill civilians is TERROR. But it’s not a winning tactic IF AND WHEN America or Israel decides it’s worthy to fight back.

    It’s terror only as long as the media types hype it. And, the military doesn’t engage those who are responsible. (I think in Japan they got to those lunatics responsible for the RICIN.)

    By the way, the side issue, of the Libby trial is showing those who are paying attention, that Wilson worked with the french. He was involved with companies working with Saddam. And, it’s Libby on trial?

    Christoph, you’re an idiot. While there is a lot of stuff out there worth discussing. As to the terrorists, I think their purchases are on par with people who answered ads on the backs of matchbook covers. They wanted to become artists. AND, DIDN’T! Russia, however, has nothing to sell. Everything out of russia is black market crap.

  8. Enlightened says:

    Well I guess it’s going to be pretty damn hard for all you Smuggling Ring fans to explain how a TEAPOT is now the main vessel of posioning of Litvinenko. Please explain just how and why a smuggling ring would accidentally slip some PO 210 into a teapot along their nefarious route.

    Can we put this to sleep now? Litviennko was assassinated.

    Now let’s try and find out why, since it appears the authorities already know who did it.

  9. Enlightened says:

    “The official says investigators have concluded, based on forensic evidence and intelligence reports, that the murder was a “state-sponsored” assassination orchestrated by Russian security services. ”


    State sanctioned – just like Clarice and I have said from the beginning.

    I would dearly love to see if they can connect Putin, but I’m sure his loyal minions will protect him from public scrutiny as always – by murdering people that get to close to the truth.

  10. Enlightened says:


    “Sources say police intend to seek charges against a former Russian spy, Andrei Lugovoi, who met with Litvinenko on Nov. 1, the day officials believe the lethal dose was administered in the Millennium Hotel teapot.”

    Yikes!. (Same link from above)

  11. Enlightened says:

    Well, since this poisoned teapot has been in service since the assassination, no wonder so many people have come up exposed.

  12. gumshoe says:

    enlightened –

    you can think of no reasons
    UK gov’t officials might want to supress
    the discovery of polonium smuggling??

    i’m off to read the ABC blip,
    but the idea that this was assasination
    is still unconvincing to me.

    well,we can’t all be genuises,hey?

    BTW,Enlightened –
    doesn’t “the discovery” of a RADIOACTIVE teapot
    (and one radioactive enought to CONTINUE to make staff ILL)
    this late in the case strike you as even *slightly* odd?

    no sloppy case work on this one.

  13. Enlightened says:

    “A senior official tells ABC News the “hot” teapot remained in use at the hotel for several weeks after Litvinenko’s death before being tested in the second week of December. The official said investigators were embarrassed at the oversight.”

    Teapot was found in December – not now. Investigators are not perfect, and this case has not been a perfect case.

    But no one will ever be able to explain a smuggling ring using teapots to me.

  14. gumshoe says:

    and,not having revealed the teapot in *December*,
    as you point out…it’s announcement NOW,
    doesn’t strike you as odd…???

    one was a mistake,
    the other was an ommission(deliberate? to aid investigation?)

  15. Enlightened says:

    This whole incident is odd. The fact that radioactive poison was used probably spooked the whole investigation. There’s no conspiracy here – just a very disturbing murder in a string of disturbing murders all connected to the Kremlin.

  16. AJStrata says:

    A teapot shows up in December – 5 weeks after the poisoning and 2 weeks after Litvinenko dies – and it all of a sudden as Po-210 signs. The tea pot was in the public domain for weeks. And it is way too hot to have been the vessel for Litvinenko’s poison. He was killed by 10-200 lethal doses, not 1 million+!

    How convenient. I wonder who tipped the authorities off? Well, at least we have a good indication some of the Po-210 passing through London in Oct and Nov is STILL THERE!

  17. wickedpinto says:

    All you need is some other materials and some uranium:

    More that just a LITTLE simplistic don’t you think?

  18. Snapple says:

    I don’t know anything about physics, but I have a degree in Russian studies and know how Russians make tea. And I know the KGB will poison someone in a New York minute. And that they can be bunglers.

    AJ doesn’t know how Russians make tea, so he is equating the teapot and the cup.

    Russians don’t make tea like Americans do. They make concentrated tea called “zavarka” in a teapot and then put a VERY LITTLE bit in a cup and pour a lot of hot water into it. The water is called kipyatok. The ratio is like 1part zavarka to 9 parts kipyatok.

    I don’t know if they would do it that way in an English hotel unless they had a samovar of hot water, but Russians are EXTREMELY picky about doing their tea this way; so they might. They think drinking a cup of tea made with just tea and water is really gross.
    They really insist on the boiled water.

    So the teapot could be a lot stronger with polonium than the cup because of all the hot water.