Radiological Underpreparedness

Nope, this isn’t about what you think it’s about.

In the last week or so, a couple of stories have run in the news about radiation from Japan’s stricken reactors being detected in rainfall in various parts of the United States, as predicted by everyone with a basic understanding of how weather works.

Public Intelligence has a collection of some of these articles here.

This news is not, on the face of things, really exciting, or even all that interesting.

But there’s an interesting little tidbit in there which I think is not just interesting, but alarming – all the more so because some dumbass discussed it in public.

Officials in Vermont, according to a press release linked to by Public Intelligence, say that:

VDH was scheduled to conduct routine quarterly radiological health division monitoring and is moving up that schedule by one week to begin on Monday, March 28. This routine monitoring checks radiation levels in air, drinking water, vegetation and milk at multiple sites throughout the state.

Amid all the endless hysteria about terrorist use of “dirty bombs” and/or nuclear EMPs – immensely retarded threat scenarios promoted by defense-industry idiots – people have been for years overlooking the potential employment of radiological material to contaminate domestic food and water supplies.

I’ve long said that, were terrorists to get their hands on radiological material, they’d be far better served spreading it on potato fields in Idaho just before harvest time than blowing it up in a homemade firework above a major city. The psychological impact would be greater, and the risk of detection would be much less.

Vermont officials – and I realize that Vermont, while a great state, don’t get me wrong, is not exactly the country’s highest-risk terrorism target, but still – has just announced that they only monitor drinking water for radiation four times a year, in the first week of each calendar quarter.

OPSEC fail, Vermont. You’ve just done 98% of a would-be radiological terrorist’s work for them, with your comforting little press release.

Not cool, folks. Not cool at all.

Published in: 'D' for 'Dumb', Geekiness, General, Security | on March 29th, 2011| No Comments »

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