Polonium-210 is the ideal weapon for (rental) killers?

Polonium-210 is the ideal weapon for (rental) killers?

World January 21, 2016 13:42

- The defected former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned in 2006 with a large dose of the radioactive substance polonium-210. His killers did it in a cup of tea, when Litvinenko became seriously ill. He died three weeks later. A microgram is enough to kill a human being. There is no antidote. The substance leaves little trace. The Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat would be assassinated by polonium-210.

What is polonium-210?

Polonium-210 is an isotope of the radioactive substance polonium. The substance occurs in nature in very small quantities: both in the air, as in the Earth. Also in the human body are very small amounts of naturally present. It gives highly hazardous alpha radiation. It is also actively mined uranium mines. From 15 kilos of uranium may be a microgram of polonium-210. And is also present in a number of nuclear reactors. Polonium-210 was discovered accidentally in 1898 by Marie Curie who died of leukemia itself. The fabric is silver.

Why is it so dangerous?

The substance is deadly to humans. It gives dangerous alpha radiation. Ingestion-by swallowed or organs, bones and other tissue from the inside through a broken irradiated wondje-: liver, kidneys and bone mountain. Symptoms include nausea, extreme fatigue, diarrhea and hair loss. Red blood cells are destroyed. A microgram-the weight of a speck of dust floating in the living-room is enough to kill if swallowed. Moreover, polonium-210 is an assassin; it is very difficult for doctors to detect. You really need to know what to look for, say experts. But then the matter is to detect and easy to prove because it is far remains radioactive. Incidentally, it may not be through the skin or clothing rays.

What is polonium-210 normally used for?

The substance is-because major release of heat in the nuclear and oil industries used as a power supply. The Russians also used it for heating equipment in the area.

Why would you use the substance as a weapon?

If you want to kill someone unobtrusively-a liquidation with firearms is bloody and there are usually witnesses polonium-210 is very effective. It is easy to smuggle. The likelihood of detection is small. At airports and in hospitals is sought with Geiger counters that detect only gamma radiation. Polonium-210 emits alpha radiation.

But it is not a weapon for the average drug criminal who wants to eliminate a competitor. For that matter get too rare and too cumbersome. Moreover, you should make every effort to poison the victim. But if you do then it is one hundred percent guaranteed lethal. Incidentally, Litvinenko's killers used an absurdly high dose, which made detection easier. It is unclear why they did that.

Where to buy polonium-210?

At least not in the supermarket or local criminal arms dealer. Biggest problem is that it is rather rare. Every year, nuclear reactors worldwide more than 100 grams. Also some commercial companies have the stuff on sale, but you can not just buy it. Also supplies unwanted attention of secret services. And you do not want as a (rental) killer. And polonium required-it is indeed extremely gevaarlijk- a very careful treatment which can take place only has specialized laboratories by experts with knowledge.

Is this the ideal weapon for assassins?

Yes and no. As long as the murderers do not ingest or-inademen wondje- run they hardly risk. Furthermore, the substance odorless and tasteless and is long lasting. But, if the police have a suspect and know what they are looking for, is to follow the trail of polonium-210 back. Murderers-read: Secret of agents using polonium-210 have good connections with the state and usually work for an intelligence service. Countries that have polonium-210 in stock are Russia, the US, Britain, France, Israel and China.

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