Did Haliburton Just Try Selling Dirty Bomb Materials To Terrorists?

Less than a week after a cylinder of radioactive material went missing from Halliburton Turkey officials foil a $1 million plot to sell two cylinders.

This is entirely speculation but on September 11th a cylinder of radioactive material went missing from Halliburton.

Halliburton’s Misplaced Radioactive Cylinder: ‘Do Not Handle’

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The radioactive cylinder that Halliburton lost in West Texas is similar to the device pictured, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
CREDIT: Texas Department of State Health Services.
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Somewhere in West Texas is a 7-inch radioactive cylinder that Halliburton would like to find. Anyone who comes across it is advised to keep their distance.

The oil field services company lost track of the device, which is used to assess potential sites for hydraulic fracturing, on Tuesday (Sept. 11) while trying to transport it from Pecos to a well site near Odessa 130 miles away. A special unit of the Texas National Guard has now stepped in to aid Halliburton in a search for the cylinder, according to Bloomberg.

“It’s not something that produces radiation in an extremely dangerous form,” said Chris Van Deusen, a spokesman for the Texas Department of State Health Services. “But it’s best for people to stay back, 20 or 25 feet.”

The tool that Halliburton lost contains a mixture of beryllium and americium-241, the same radioactive isotope of americium that is found in very small quantities in a common type of smoke detector.

“In the presence of beryllium, the alpha particles [emitted by americium-241] will react to form neutrons,” explained Tom Hei, associate director of Columbia University’s Center for Radiological Research. “For alpha particles, you can put a piece of paper in front of it and will provide adequate shielding. Such is not the case for neutrons, which require significantly more shielding or a longer distance from the source for adequate protection.

[…]

Source: Live Science

That cylinder reportedly contained beryllium and americium-241.

A week later on September 18th Turkish security forces say they foiled a plot to sell two cylinders containing $1 million worth of radioactive cesium on the black market.

And today Press TV reports:

Turkish security forces foil plot to sell cesium-137
Turkish security forces have seized two tubes of radioactive cesium-137 being transported in a vehicle in the northeastern province of Giresun on the Black Sea, Press TV reports.

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Acting on a tipoff that highly toxic radioactive material was on board a car heading from the northeastern city of Trabzon to Giresun city, which is situated 622 kilometers (387 miles) east of Ankara, Turkish soldiers stopped the car near the town of Gulburnu on Tuesday.

Upon searching the car, they found two glass tubes of cesium-137 hidden inside the vehicle.

The driver was taken into custody, while the radioactive material was taken to the Turkish Atomic Energy Agency to be studied.

The police said the cesium-137 was to be sold in Turkey for 1 million euros ($1.3 million).

In April, Turkish security forces stopped a vehicle travelling from Georgia to Turkey and discovered 500 grams of cesium-137 in the car. The material was smuggled to Turkey from Russia through Georgia.

It had an estimated market value of over 760,000 euros ($1 million).

Turkish security officials located the vehicle and followed it to the Yenimahalle district of Ankara. Three people in the car were detained.

[…]

Source: Press TV

The Press TV report says cesium was recovered but citing “security forces” as what the material actually does raise a specter of uncertainly which will not be resolved until the Atomic Energy Agency confirms the materials.

What would be the odds of a Halliburton’s materials end up in the middle east to be sold on the black market to terrorist for use in a dirty bomb?

I know the evidence clearly does not suggest this is the case but the timing of the two incidents is striking.

Categories: SOCIETY

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