Unsecure Material Sparks Dirty Bomb Fears
August 28, 2005
Sydney Morning Herald
Australian nuclear experts have found a large unsecured source of dangerous radioactive material in South-East Asia.
The experts, working to prevent terrorists launching a regional "dirty bomb", estimate there is enough material to contaminate the heart of an Australian city, according to a newspaper report.
The team, from the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), found substantial amounts of cobalt which, if wrapped around a conventional bomb, could dramatically boost cancer rates and force out residents for decades.
"There are two countries where we have located quite large sources," ANSTO's chief of operations, Rob Cameron, told the newspaper.
ANSTO's concern comes as intelligence reports from South Korea revealed Australia has been listed by the al-Qaeda network as a prime target for an attack this year.
Australian intelligence agencies said they had not received notification of a heightened threat to Australian interests in recent days.