According to earnest science journal Nature, the US Department of Homeland Security has a problem. The 2,400 radiation monitors it is installing at entry points to the US, designed to spot the incoming ingredients of a dirty bomb, can’t tell the difference between weapons-grade fissile material and a bag of cat litter.
“The clay in cat litter gives off enough gamma-rays to trigger a detector,” Nature reports. “The [type of] detectors used at the borders often confuse it with highly enriched uranium.” And this is before the cat has crapped in it.
Researchers at the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have come up with an experimental detector that can finally separate the two types of material.
This does lead Sneak to wonder, however, whether a cat’s feet are typically radioactive. And also to worry: surely this means that terrorists seeking radioactive material for their dirty bombs don’t need to go very far to get it? They need look no further than under the puckered bottoms of unwary cats across the nation...
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