Jul 30 2007
Here is a bit of disturbing news right that relates to the Litvinenko death by radiation poisoning in November of last year. A close deadly cousin of Po-210, the substance that killed Litvinenko and was found all over London and which poisoned many other people (including two Russian businessmen), is the element Americium-241 (Am-241). It has the same general properties as Po-210 in that it is an active alpha emmitter (see here for Am-241 and here for Po-210). It also shares radioactive features with uranium since it is also a gamma emitter.
Why am I telling everyone this? It seems lots and lots of Americium can be found in cruise ship graveyards:
In what is bound to cause another twist to the ill-fated story of ‘Blue Lady’, currently anchored 4,000 feet off Alang coast, Tom Haugen, the erstwhile project manager of the ship (then called ‘SS Norway’), wrote to the Committee of Technical Experts set up by the Supreme Court, claiming that the ship has radioactive material Ã¢â‚¬â€ Americium 241 Ã¢â‚¬â€ on board in at least 5,500 fire detection points.
The SS Norway was once the pride of the French fleet. Now it is a treasure trove of radioactive material which is very deadly and would make a good basis for a nuclear dirty bomb.
But this begs the question: since Americium is so much like Po-210 as an alpha emitter, and only a millionth of a gram of Po-210 (for Am-241, easily found in a few fire detector sensors) was required to kill Litvinenko, why didn’t the so called Russian assassins use this material to kill Litvinenko in London? It would not be traceable to Russia and could be acquired in the UK, no doubt.
It would seem we have another example of why there is little evidence the Litvinenko death was an assassination versus a smuggling effort gone bad. In fact, there is more and more indication that the smuggling effort gone bad makes sense. For assassination, Am-241 would have been cheaper and stealthier, less traceable to Russia and easier to obtain. But somehow these sophisticated killers went for Po-210 instead? Riiighht!