Proliferation Press

A webpage devoted to tracking and analyzing current events related to the proliferation of WMD/CBRN.

Blog-on-Blog: No Duh! Slate on the Dirty Bomb Threat

Posted by K.E. White on December 13, 2006

by kwhite

This is taken from my earlier blog at

Slate‘s Jay Edward Epstein discusses the blatantly obvious in “The Polonium Connection”, a piece that explores the significance of Alexander Litvinenko’s radioactive poisoning in London: His death shows how real the dirty bomb threat to America is.

I pointed out this very danger in an earlier blog posting, responding to an earlier Slate article by Anne Applebaum. (I’m sure Epstein wasn’t inspired by me–but if he was, I’m always happy to lend a hand.)

But I should add an important caveat to both my article and Epstein’s: plutonium-210, the ingredient that killed Litvinenko, can be blocked by paper. (This I only discovered in discussing my post with a knowledgeable friend.)

While by no means alleviating the dirty bomb threat, it’s an important–and now further neglected–feature of most news coverage on Litvinenko’s poisoning.

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