Exclusive: ‘Dirty’ Nuke Attack in New Delhi?
by PAUL L. WILLIAMS, PHD
April 15, 2010
While the White House was engaged in hosting a Nuclear Security Summit in Washington D.C., a major nuclear incident occurred in India that escaped the attention of the international press.
Five people suffering from serious radiological burns were hospitalized in West New Delhi this week from contact with nuclear material in a Delhi scrap market.
The material has been identified as Cobalt-60 which may be used for making a dirty bomb.
Indian police sectioned off the 200 market stores in the thickly populated city of 14 million and sealed nearby establishments within a one-kilometer radius.
Scrap dealer Deepak Jain and his helpers lost consciousness when they came into contact with an irradiated piece of scrap metal. A white fluid oozed out, causing the burns. Jain's hair fell out and within minutes his skin turned black. His workers immediately manifested signs of radiological poisoning, including severe nausea and discoloration of the skin.
With the opening of the summit on Monday came word that Mr. Jain had died and the chance of recovery for the four workers remained slim.
Nuclear scientists from the Baba Atomic Research Center and Narora Atomic Power Plant identified the material and have been working around the clock to locate its source.
German chancellor Angela Merkel asked to talk with President Obama about the dirty bomb terrorist threat when they met on Tuesday.
Cobalt-60 is used in radiotherapy for treating cancer and welding steel.
A 2009 U.S. report recommended monitoring this material along with Caesium-137, Strontium-90 and Plutonium to effectively counter nuclear terrorism.
Unlike a nuclear bomb, a dirty bomb does not involve nuclear fission and can be used like a conventional weapon.
Ahead of the Washington conference, U.S. president Barack Obama called nuclear terror "the single biggest threat to U.S. security, short term, medium and long-term."
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Paul L. Williams is the author of The Day of Islam: The Annihilation of America and the Western World, The Al Qaeda Connection, and other best-selling books. He is a frequent guest on such national news networks as ABC News, CBS News, Fox News, MSNBC, and NPR. Visit his website at http://thelastcrusade.org.