Cedar Rapids Gazette, August 14, 1974, Page 3

Cedar Rapids Gazette

August 14, 1974

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Issue date: Wednesday, August 14, 1974

Pages available: 160

Previous edition: Tuesday, August 13, 1974

Next edition: Thursday, August 15, 1974

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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - August 14, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 2A Thf Cedar Rapids Gazette: Wed.. Ang. 14, 1874 Nuclear Theft Raises Specter of Bomb By William Stockton AP Science Writer WASHINGTON (AP) The figures had been checked and double checked, the storage containers in the vault examined once again. But the inventory still didn't add up Finally, as required by law. Ray .lanka of nuclear fuels facility at ('res. (First of two articles) cent Okla reached for his telephone and dialed .lack Hind, the Atomic Energy Commission's security chief in the Chicago regional office. Hind grasped the gravity of .lanka's news at once He or- dered his staff to work and in- formed superiors in Washing- Ion. MUF Kerr-McGee had discovered a Ml'K material unaccount- ed fur. The material was plnlonium. a radioactive substance used in atomic bombs. Kcrr-McC.oo fabricates plutonium fuel elements for an experiment reactor in Richland, Wash. More than three pounds of Plutonium had disappeared. Three pounds is only a fraction of whal terrorists would need to fashion a crude atomic bomb, the shortage sent rip- ples of alarm through the AKC. The Ml'K demanded immediate action. The next morning AKC ins- pector Charles Peck boarded an airliner fur Oklahoma City, where he reined a car and -II! miles northward through rolling hills to ('res- cent. There, lie supervised a new inventory of Ki. r-Mctlee pin- ionium, seeking proof none had been stolen. Ten days later relaxed. The pluionium was all there. A series of errors in Hie first inventory was the cnlnrii The Atomic Kncrgy Com- mission says il is experiencniii about four MIKs a year. So fai they all have been human or machine errors in ihe complex inventory processes. But .lack Hind's concern last February reflects a disturbing aspect of advancing nuclear technology. The art of making a nuclear weapon no longer is the exclusive purview ol governmeni scientists toiling behind barbed wire fences with mullmnllion dollar budgets 'I here is growing (ear In Ihe I'. S. nuclear cemmuBity (hat a private group build a crude but deadly atomic bomb. The main dif- ficulty would be obtaining the "special nuclear a euphemism for weapons-grade Plutonium or enriched uranium. A few years ago. AKC weapons experts said thai terrorists or criminals couldn't build an A-bomb. They don't say this anymore. "The art of making a crude device the information is available. It's all unclassified. The things they need are available on the general market." said K. K. Ciller. AlOC's head of national security. Kverylhing. lliat is. except the plutonium or enriched uranium that is the heart of a nuclear bomb Security Spending The AKC spent Sail million in fiscal 1971! and is spending SHII million this year for security al Ihe several facilities in Die I' S. where potential bomb fuels are stored or used. The money also is to safeguard the of Ibis fuel around the couiiliv There are 4r> nuclear plants producing electncitv today for public utility companies. Sixty more arc under construction. All arc designed to use uranium, bui no! ni iiir needed for bombs. Some physicists credit Dr. Theodore Taylor with heigh- tening consciousness about the possibilities of homemade atomic bombs. Considered a crack bomb designer two decades ago at the height of Ihe Cold War. Taylor now heads a private research and development company. He has studied at length the minimum requirements in expertise and materials to build a workable bomb. "Under conceivable circum- stances, a few persons, possi- bly even one person working alone, who possessed about 111 kilograms (22 pounds) of plu- tonium oxide and a substantial New Brazilian Leader Relaxes Censor Grip U10 DE JANEIRO (AP) A new era of lighter censorship of Ihe press and arts in Bt-zil appears to have been initiated by -the military-dominated government under uie new president. General Ernesto Geisel. Packed audiences in Itio are roaring with laughter at the theatrical adventures of a bumbling general and a detec- tive who tortures convicts. In Sao Paulo, publishers are completing plans for a Brazilian edition of Playboy and a magazine devoted to sexology. Censors in the capital, Brasilia, have just allowed distribution of the movie "The Exorcist" without any cuts. "No formal order has been handed down, but we're just receiving fewer telephone calls from the colonel saying, 'Don't print this, sofl-pedal that' and so on." says the editor of a major Rio newspaper. At the same time, Geisel who started his governmen five months ago with federa orders to cut from newspaper stories about streaking an student protests, has gone ou of his way to praise the press. "Very Fair" "1 have no reason ti he told newsmen in Brasilia. "Coverage has beei very fair very satisfac tory." "I think you have never hai the atmosphere and the facili ties that you have Geise told newsmen congratulating him on his 66th birthday las week. "Everything is possible when (here is understanding and there has been very much understanding." A month ago a Brasilia newspaper ran a picture ol wives of government officials stepping out of their limousines aided by their chauffeurs to shop at the market. Next day Geisel banned use of official cars for unofficial business. A week later the newspaper Jornal do Brasil reported that, as an incentive to move to the austere inland capital, the central bank had offered its directors options on two apart- ments one to live in, another to rent out. "Will Be Corrected" Next day a presidential palace announcement said the matter was being investigated. A few .iays later the bank said "certain irregularities" had occurred and would be corrected. The incidents would have been unheard of during the four-year term of (icisel's predecessor. Gen. Emilio Medici. Under Medici's security- conscious rule, not only lyrics of records hut the music itself was closely scrutinized. Expert 3-DAY Service on Watch and In some cases censors "dis- covered" that emphasis on different syllables provided appeals for sexuality, subver- sion or drugs. Censors closely monitored television, newspapers, movies and theater. Even foreign magazines like Der Spiegel of West. Germany. Playboy, Renthouse and others were banned from newsstands. "All Changing" "But all this is changing says a motion picture company representative. "We hope The Exorcist' can be the Trojan horse to allow many other no-no's into Brazil." Clint Eastwood's "Magnum a thriller loosely based on Brazil's "death squad" transplanted to San Francisco, has made it past censors. Transparent allusions in the film to off-duty police who took the law into their own hands and eliminated petty criminals as they have in Kio and Sao Paulo were not cut. "Even the censors them- selves appear to have says Author Joan Bettencourt, whose play "The Stolen Crime" premiered to overflowing audiences in Rio last week. "One of them had even gone to the U. S. for some sort of media course. At least we can have a dialog '.vith them and argue back and forth." Bcttencourt's play is a sa- lirical comedy set in a Rio police .precinct where prisoners are forced to confess by "a little roughing up" or by torture. In Bettcncourt's original draft, one of the prisoners died. Censors kept the man alive but dead drunk. Several lines lambasting the police were scratched, but (he gist of the play, held up for two years on censor desks, remains unchanged. Step Further Sao Paulo's leading news- paper, 0 Estado, has been urging Geisel to go a step further in granting freedom to the press by allowing discus- sion of civil rights and of rein- statement of habeas corpus. Censors, who had blue-pen- ciled the newspaper's copy for more than a year, allowed the editorial to be printed. Minister of Justice Armando Falcao, a politician who served in a civilian government before the military took over, has formed a task force to unify some of the many laws which regulate censorship of the press, books, movies and other media. A ministry spokesman said, however, "the aim is only to bring all the legislation together and not strengthen or weaken it." Jewelry Speclollrfng In Diamond Remounting and Diamond Appraisals Malloy Jewelers 22? SECOND AVENUE SE NEW! from SAVE ona 50-PECE SERVICE FOR 8 PLUS A 5-PIECE HOSTESS SET Patterns Lyon Stainless Americana 18000 120.00 6000 nternatjonal :ine Stainless art of NTERNATIONAL SILVER COMPANY t Connecticut 06450 Downtown Parkode Building International Stainless Colonial Manor Embassy Sophisticate 50-plece service lor 8 contains 16 teaspoons 8 H.H. knives, 8 place spoons, 8 place lorks. 8 salad forks. 2Tdblespoons 82.50 55.00 27.50 82.50 55.00 27.50 82.50 I 55.00 2750 PLUS 5-pieco Hostess Set, 1 pierced lablespcor, 1 cold meat fork. 1 gravy ladte 1 sugar spoon and 1 butler kmfo amount of chemical high explosive could, within several xsi'rks design and build a crude fission bomb." Taylor said. Fil liy Taylor's definition, a crude bomb would fit into an automobile a delivery van. for example and explode with the power of pounds of TNT. Detuiiaied during rush hour in a large city, it might kill thousands of people By comparison, the bomb dropped on Hiroshima 29 years ago this month exploded with the force of Ions of TNT. killing about X5.IHIU people. AKC officials won't disclose how much plutonium and enriched uranium exists In the country to make nuclear devices, except to acknowledge that there is enough !n exis- tence to make dozens of bombs. With the prospect of a Hollywood script writer's fan- cies turned to reality, the quality of America's nuclear safeguards has become a mat- ter of debate. "In our present situation there probably are some points in the system where an inside man and a determined group like the Symbionese Liberation Army could acquire some special nuclear liillcr conceded GAO Study In 1972 inspcctiirs from UK' (U'licral Accounting Oflue. congress' watchdog agency, studied safeguards at three unnamed AKC contractors and licensees. They alsu monitored nuclear material shipments In luii reports, one issued last fall and another last inspectors dociiiiienleil tutu easily they gained access to special nuclear material. Chain link fences gave way. Doors, vents and windows quickly yielded entry to nuclear material storage areas. Guards were poorly qualified. One shipment of nearly 200 pounds of enriched uranium made a 200-mile trip in the back of an open flatbed truck. After the (1AO inspections hut prior to release of the reports, the AI'C hogan proposing or implementing toucher security requirements. Stricter limits on inventory accuracies like the one at' Kerr-McCiee went into effect IB 'months ago. Tougher regula- tions for plant security and transportation became effec- tive in March. Last winter the AEC ordered its own study of safeguards. assembling three outside scientists and a former assis laid director of the KHI to con cenlrate oil the system s vuhierabilitv Tin- sluilv L'rotip warned uboul the possible rise of urban li-rroi IMH II found toughened AKC security regulations inadequate. we feel that Ihe new regulations are inadequate and DM! illilli. di.lie steps slwulil lie taken to greatly strengthen the protection of special nuclear tile panel sanl Public documents at AKC headquarters in Washington reveal that several licensees have been ordered to increase guard forces and remodel security facilities. AKC officials and critics of the AKC agree that transpor- tation is the weak link in American safeguards. The AKC conveys most of its weapons-grade uranium and plutonium with its own drivers, guards and trucks, including special armored trucks designed to be impregnable under attack. Drivers and guards maintain constant radio communication with AEC headquarters. Licensed Firms Security isn't as tight for nuclear materials shipped by four commercial companies lii ensed by the AKC Hrfore March security was imiinu.d no guards, no ar- mored trucks Now guaids and armored trucks used to carry money are employed. Drivers report to the home' oitice by radio every two hours, Hut It will be several years before special (rucks are available lor (he feur commer- cial companies. Mnre troublesome in coming years will be a continuous in venlory of nuclear materials, making certain none have been stolen from a plant an ounce at a time for weeks or months At Kcrr-McGee the monthly Plutonium inventory must be within percent of the phi Ionium assigned to the But Kcrr-Mcdoo has so much it pounds must disappear before authorities become aware of the loss. A thief familiar with an ac- counting system might suc- ceed if lie never stole more than the inventory's sensi- tivity AKC officials say it will be scvaral more years before the system will detect a theft within hours. It look days to conduct the February in- ventory. The AKC.supervised inventory lasted another III davs. Next: Bomb lor Everyone THESE BIG VALUES AREN'T AS A Handsome Rural English Design You'll Love More Each Coming Year Bold proportions, dramatic pilasters and distressed Pecan stain finish set the mood for luxury living. Drawers are center-glided. Triple dresser, mirror, 5-drawer chest and headboard. Reg. 459 Fresh Contemporary Beauty That's So Completely Liveable Clean, unbroken lines are com- plemented by lustrous stain finish. Drawers are center-guidded. Triple dresser, mirror, 4-drawer chest and headboard. Reg. 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