Judith Miller told us today that cobalt-60 was apparently found just west of Baghdad at a test range by the MET-Alpha team. Miller talked to "Drew," the MET-Alpha team's nuclear weapons expert. Drew was somewhat less than reassuring:
He said that, as far as he knew, neither his team nor the United States Central Command had a specific policy for handling radioactive material. Some of the material uncovered at former weapons sites in Iraq could be used to make "dirty bombs" designed to expose people to radiation, and some poses a health hazard to Iraqis and others exposed to it over time. Despite such threats, he said, nothing has been decided about what to do with the material.
Prior to the MET-Alpha team's arrival at the site where the cobalt-60 was apparently found, it was being subjected to the level of security the U.S. generally applies to anything in Iraq that doesn't involve oil:
There was no American security force when the inspection team members arrived at the sprawling test range, though they had been told there would be.
And afterward? Well, pretty much the same:
...the team recommended, as did the International Atomic Energy Agency when it surveyed the site, that the nuclear source in the area be secured, which has not happened yet.
Sleep tight now.