December 05, 2013

Cobalt-60 robbers likely to die

The crooks who nabbed a container which included cobalt-60 are most likely dead men walking. Cobalt-60 is ridiculously radioactive with a half-life of 5.27 years, and is the main ingredient in so-called "doomsday weapons" in science fiction of the 50s, 60s and 70s. The bomb featured in Beneath the Planet of the Apes, for example, is mentioned to be cobalt. The slow-moving radioactive clouds in the popular novel and film On the Beach are products of cobalt bomb explosions.

Cobalt-60 would be a highly desired ingredient in making a so-called "dirty bomb" as effective clean up of such an irradiated area would be extremely difficult and may require years to be safe for human habitation again.

Posted by Hube at December 5, 2013 02:23 PM | TrackBack

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Don't forget that Thor was hired by the U.S. government in an early issue to help them test a cobalt bomb.

Posted by: Carl at December 5, 2013 03:16 PM

Interesting. It seems cobalt bombs (the premise, at least) really were popular as a doomsday device in the years I mentioned. An early Silver Surfer issue had one, too (ironically featuring a robot called "Doomsday Man").

I had always thought (as a kid) that a cobalt bomb was enormously powerful (explosive). It's not. It's just poisonous as hell.

Posted by: Hube at December 5, 2013 08:18 PM

Yes, it is, and that's why it would be an ideal ingredient for a terrorist's dirty bomb. Clean-up would take years.

Posted by: Carl at December 6, 2013 12:15 AM

Did the crooks actually steal a truck? When I first heard about their caper, I thought hey stole the "hot" car from Repo Man! You saw what it did to the cop who opened the trunk, eh?


Posted by: Rusty at December 6, 2013 10:17 AM

I read an AP story yesterday that they were treated for skin irritation and dizziness. I can see them driving down the road: "Hey...I don't feel so good. What's in the back of the truck?"

Worst idea ever.

Posted by: Douglas Ernst at December 7, 2013 01:32 PM

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