Comments on "Prevent Nuclear Terror"

Cecile Gonzalez
Cecile Gonzalez

PostedFebruary 15, 2008

Engineering can lessen the risk of nuclear terrorism through stronger security, better detection, and ways to neutralize nuclear devices.  Which approaches might be the most effective?

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  • harsh vardhan
    harsh vardhan

    Posted 10 years and 2 months ago

    harsh vardhan from india comments on What protection can we create?
    heat & radiation condensation from heavy water artificial rain.
    neutron absorbtion through series of other chemical element blasting or unstable element is required react with fissile isotopes at source , to control fission may be the topic of research
  • Harold M. Frost, III
    Harold M. Frost, III

    Posted 10 years and 6 months ago

    Harold M. Frost, III from Sheffield, Vermont comments on What protection can we create?
    This is a complex topic. Neither the article “Prevent Nuclear Terror” (as one of the NAE Grand Challenges for Engineering) nor the several dozen comments on it (as of today, 12-15-13), however, mention the U.S. Stockpile Stewardship Program (SSP) nor any technology-based strategy for science-based diplomacy to relieve international tensions over existence and possible use of nuclear weapons. Concerning the SSP part, this has program thrusts of computational simulation, fundamental scientific and engineering research, and improved nuclear (sub-critical) and non-nuclear experiments to assure the safety, security and reliability of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile. Annual responsibility for doing this falls upon the shoulders of the directors of the U.S. national nuclear security labs (Sandia, Lawrence Livermore, and Los Alamos) who send Annual Assessment Letters to the secretaries of Energy and Defense and to the Nuclear Weapons Council. That is, the nuclear genie is out of the bottle and responsible, effective, and timely means at the national level are thus needed to control this force for the sake of the safety and security of all mankind, not just Americans. Basic scientific and engineering research, then, can help in this regard. To break off just the piece of advanced supercomputing within the SSP, then, a recent, comprehensive review of or related to this topic is provided by the April 2013 issue of Los Alamos National Laboratory’s magazine, National Security Science, available online. This comment highlights only one of its eight articles, "Strategic Deterrence in the 21st Century" (pp. 42-51) by Admiral Richard W. Mies, United States Navy (retired). A quote from its section “"Guiding Principles for Strategic Force Reduction" reflects my own sentiments as a Viet Nam Era veteran and Life Member of the Military Officers Association of America as well as holder and user of a Ph.D. in physics earned in 1974: “There are a number of fundamental principles that should guide further strategic force reductions. First, we should continue to focus on arms control measures that directly and demonstrably enhance stability and reduce the risks of war. Stability—the lack of an incentive on either side to initiate major aggression or conflict, the assurance against being caught by surprise, the safety in waiting—rather than numerical parity is the most important criterion in assessing force structure and posture options. As Albert Wohlstetter wrote many years ago, “Relaxation of tensions, which everyone thinks is good, is not easily distinguished from relaxing one’s guard, which everyone thinks is bad.” Deterrence ultimately depends not on our capability to strike first, but on the assurance, we always have the capability to strike second.” That is, stability is key for having an effective national defense that works well enough that nuclear war can be removed from the table as an option for responsible but competing national governments to use whose overarching goal is global peace, not war. In turn, scientific knowledge can contribute to that stability, not only for certifying just what a fully detonable nuclear weapon is and does and how it ages and what can be done about that, but also on how to develop means to avoid irresponsible use of nuclear weapons technology including design and possible use of so-called dirty bombs without full nuclear detonation capability but with potential to radioactively and chemically contaminate and put out of service large land areas -- and put large populations at risk for long-term effects including cancers.
  • Jason M. Espana
    Jason M. Espana

    Posted 10 years and 9 months ago

    Jason M. Espana from Las Cruces, NM comments on What protection can we create?
    I was thinking that we can somehow make a certain type of radio wave or any type that can travel between towers to detect where radioactive material is or where it is being produced. Maybe the nuclear current makes radio waves act different or repel them so we can detect. Maybe radio waves or some type of waves can stop a detonation of a nuclear weapon, somehow stop the nuclear reaction that makes the explosion
  • Jay

    Posted 10 years and 9 months ago

    Jay from Iowa, USA comments on What protection can we create?
    Do we have the technologies to detect nuclear wepons? If so why don't we have constent patrolls of drones with these devices incorporated into them. Then if we were to have an attak on the US we would be able to identify where and when it might hit based on its projectory.
  • Shane

    Posted 11 years and 3 months ago

    Shane from USA comments on What protection can we create?
    I believe we need to entertain the idea of bringing back the Strategic Defense Initiative, also known as Star Wars, and revive interest in having a satttilite missile defense grid.
  • Mikhael Loo
    Mikhael Loo

    Posted 11 years and 4 months ago

    Mikhael Loo from TN, USA comments on What protection can we create?
    I think it's important not to overlook social engineering when it comes to protecting ourselves. That invovles educating and providing alternatives to would be terrorists. There are better things than nuclear bombs that can be used to solve problems suffered by any people group. There are tons of technologies via the internet that we could use to promote commuication, awareness, democracy, human dignity, and actual aid. If we find better ways to engage our world in humanatarian ways, even fewer people are going to want to blow us up to begin with.
  • Leroy L
    Leroy L

    Posted 11 years and 7 months ago

    Leroy L from Malaysia comments on What protection can we create?
    Make a shelter using a mixture of toughest materials in the world which will be able to withstand the explosion of nuclear weapon.
    Educate people about the use and dangerous of nuclear to prevent misuse of it.
  • A

    Posted 11 years and 9 months ago

    A from Tx comments on What protection can we create?
    Send a missile to stop it in the air.
  • Abigail Phipps
    Abigail Phipps

    Posted 11 years and 9 months ago

    Abigail Phipps from West Sacramento, CA comments on What protection can we create?
    We all need ways to detect and neutralize nuclear power that could cause harm to innocent people. When the word 'Neutralize' comes into mind, I think about how nuclear power is generated/created by splitting atoms in a large quantity. There should be a way to cancel these split atoms out and 'Neutralize' them. First, we could detect the heat from the small or large scale nuclear plant, then send out a sort of pulse that has high powered negatively charged atoms that can penetrate metals that could contain these nuclear threats, and neutralize them. Or we could develop a device along the lines of the idea I just explained, but with both positive and negatively charged atoms and somehow reattach the split atoms, which will stop the nuclear threat in that space. I hope this makes some sort of sense, I honestly do not know much about the chemistry of nuclear powers, but I do know the affects of its destruction on the Earth, and it's people.
  • gregfullmoon

    Posted 11 years and 9 months ago

    gregfullmoon from New Zealand comments on What protection can we create?
    Whilst engineering and the application of technology to nuclear proliferation can have a mitigating effect, it is unlikely to contribute much to the problem of reducing nuclear terrorism.
    Nuclear Terrorism is a extension of the power of the nation state. It is not wielded by groups or those the West defines as 'Terrorist'.
    The engineering and scale of nuclear bomb making is enormous and commands much applied effort which is difficult to conceal.
    So the proliferation to date (French assisted the Israelis, the Chinese, perhaps assisted Korea and Pakistan.. who knows who else is been playing.. ) is between state players.
    The act of deploying a Nuclear bomb in the future is likely an act of a nation state. So the solution will not be found in engineering it will be found in the relations nations have with each other.
    If the World continues to conduct it self as a cut-throat bazaar of limited resources and squabbles over the bounty nature affords, then the bounty as is now happening, is wasted in the creation of ever more ingenious methods of waging the grand old art of war against our fellow human beings.
    These thoughts are offered by a semi retired handy-person from rural New Zealand with no formal tertiary education.
    If the logical truth is available to me, why is it that the combined brains trust that runs this place doesn't get it? Co-operation not competition.
    Have a lovely and bomb-free future, greg
  • Cody

    Posted 11 years and 12 months ago

    Cody from Minnesota comments on What protection can we create?
    A nuclear reactor on a small scale is feasible. One would think that creating something on a smaller scale would be considerably easier, not to mention cheaper. It would bring in a large amount of money as well, because the reactor would be integrated into vehicles (eventually), and would greatly decrease the dependence on fossil fuels. the only problems i can think of (feel free to add) is that the reactor could possibly crack and cause radiation poisoning/death (possibly explode?)... OR with all the accidents in vehicles, the reactor could become damaged and there would need to be a solution to this problem...
  • Austin Barwick
    Austin Barwick

    Posted 12 years ago

    Austin Barwick from Deep Gap, NC comments on What protection can we create?
    I think it would be possible to develop radio sensing devices that can monitor the amount of energies coming from these hot rocks and sense when they are enriched. I have a re-occuring dream of a pile of hot rocks possibly uranium 238? that is apparently just sitting in one place but has been formed into fuel rods. It appears yellow and isn't really causing me any mentally energetic problems, however it does make me wonder if someone else is looking at it with me. Isn't it time we looked to other materials for nuclear power??? Perhaps Uranium and Plutonium are a little bit nasty compared to enriching other materials for energetic purposes. Isn't fission possible with other kinds of rocks or elements?
  • James

    Posted 12 years and 7 months ago

    James from WSU comments on What protection can we create?
    One easy and effective way to neutralize nuclear devices would be to render them obsolete. Let's build bigger, better weapons to eclipse the threat presented by nuclear war, so that we can move on to worrying about other things.
  • xs bgj
    xs bgj

    Posted 13 years ago

    xs bgj from MI comments on What protection can we create?
    I can't imagine that this is not a basic thoght and in existence now.
    Place a constellation of satelites detectors, a la GPS, to alarm any motion of radiation sources so that they can be investigated.
    So, any engineering work towards this end would be helpful,such as smaller,more sensitive and simpler detectors, basic signatures of the sources to target, areas of the globe most likley to be target sources,
  • Student of global high
    Student of global high

    Posted 13 years and 3 months ago

    Student of global high from Waxahachie tx. comments on What protection can we create?
    there is always the posibility of useing nano bots to build barriers in between the two parts of radioactivity to block them from touching and there for keepingfission from taking place.
  • Futuristic Individual
    Futuristic Individual

    Posted 13 years and 4 months ago

    Futuristic Individual from India comments on What protection can we create?
    The world needs healers and thus for the destruction idea of nulear material or bomb can be such that if unauthorised personnel have access to the bomb then the auto setup sefusses the material to produce heat or so that they can't use it for their dangerous purposes untill authorised.But side by side we must find some method to convince various countries to submit their n bomb inventories to no external entities but their own peaceful purposes like power generation.
    Other political approach can be that if some country surrenders its n bombs to its own peaceful needs then various countries can provide it a agreement of protection in case of war or so because it has surrendered its nbombs for peaceful reasons.
    Lets pray that such ideas may reach the right hands at the right time and become realized.
  • Dr.Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar
    Dr.Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar

    Posted 13 years and 4 months ago

    Dr.Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar from India comments on What protection can we create?
    Various countries or some international organisation/s can join hands for producing electricity for the specific global region or so which can be a country or more then one.
    The management can be a combination from various responsible entities.

    Another idea can be like a company secretary sits in the board of directors of a company for looking after the compaliance mainly of the equity related issues and monitoring of the similar and related financial and other departmental responsibilities in the same way a representative of the UNO or a nuclear responsible entity can depute a official for monitoring the nuclear production unit and give report every day basis.
    The combined efforts for such a cause would bring understanding among the countries and developmental research can be worked upon through shared expenses and transparency.
    Hope someone capable reads this and gets some changes for better resource allocation, planning and implementation of this idea.
    For Dr.Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar Scientist from India
  • Dr. future
    Dr. future

    Posted 13 years and 5 months ago

    Dr. future from India comments on What protection can we create?
    I think like a material like iron can be distroyed by rust. Same we need an environment which we can project it at place where we find nuclear material exist and make it of no use.
    It may be a crazy idea but if it is possible then we can save our planet from nuclear distructions.
  • Vijay Asanai
    Vijay Asanai

    Posted 13 years and 6 months ago

    Vijay Asanai from INDIA comments on What protection can we create?
    Instead of stopping other to generating nucea weapons i have a idea to create safe atmosphere around us which can protect at a time of nuclear threat.
  • andy

    Posted 13 years and 8 months ago

    andy from pittsburgh comments on What protection can we create?
    half of this is completely ridiculous. the easy majority of nuclear reactors simply cannot produce bomb grade plutonium or uranium. reactors use relatively unrefined nuclear materials as opposed to bombs that require incredibly refined materials. and with nuclear inspectors from the un going around everywhere, reactors with enough power would be both in an easily recognizable set-up pattern and would also be three or four times bigger than a reactor should ever have to be. while nuclear terrorism is a thing to fear, chances of terrorists crafting their own billion-dollar reactor to churn out bomb grade materials is just incredibly unlikely... honest opinion: this article is chock full of bs.