Last Part of 10 most high-profile secrets of nuclear   weapons




3. The mystery of the container in Genoa

Millions of identical freight containers regularly pass through the port of Genoa. Many of them are filled with scrap metal, because the need for cheap sources has created a huge international business.
With so many containers traveling around the world, it’s no big deal to smuggle anything anywhere, from drugs to illegal immigrants.
However, one of these containers, in particular, caused the port a huge amount of trouble.
All containers are checked for radiation, but installed scanners still ignore the detected low levels, because many household items are somewhat radioactive.

While the presence of such scanners facilitates merchant shipping, omitting objects with a low degree of radioactivity is dangerous because objects such as a nuclear bomb, for example, also emit a low radiation level.
In 2010, however, one cargo container emitted such a high level of radiation that the scanners could not even show its significance: the arrow went through the roof.
The shipping address of this container was calculated - Bermuda-based Textainer shipping company. When asked about the toxicity of the cargo, company representatives said that the container was leased to the Mediterranean Shipping Company.

After that, he went to Saudi Arabia under the control of Sun Metal Casting, a scrap metal dealer in the Arab Emirate of Ajman. The authorities of Genoa simply stated the fact of the highest radioactivity of the contents emanating from cobalt - 60, however, apparently, no one wanted to do anything about it.
Genoa tried to send the container back to Saudi Arabia and then to the United Arab Emirates, but both countries refused to accept it. Since they could not send him, he stayed at the port for about a year, which ultimately caused protests and strikes by port workers.
As a result, it was decided that the port and the Italian government will utilize it, dividing the costs into two - $ 700,000.

When cobalt was found, it was a small cylinder, probably used in any medical device or apparatus that sterilizes food. However, the origin of cobalt, as well as how it ended up in the container, will forever remain a mystery.

The mysteries of nuclear tests

2. Nazi atomic bomb

The world would be completely different if the Nazis succeeded in creating the atomic bomb. The United States took 125,000 people and $ 30 billion to create its first two nuclear weapons.
The Germans had at their disposal only a small portion of the US budget, but German physicists were among the best in the world. Since the dissolution of the Nazi nuclear weapons project, one question has remained unanswered: why did the Nazis fail to succeed in this field?

There is a theory that the head of the nuclear project, Werner Heisenberg, deliberately sabotaged the project because he knew what ultimately could lead to nuclear weapons. It is believed that people working in the project did their work reluctantly for the same reason.
The theory is interesting, but, oddly enough, it has very few adherents. In a letter, Heisenberg says he wants to declare his reluctance to complete the bomb at a meeting with his mentor Niels Bohr.
The indignant Bohr "answered" with a series of unsent letters, each of which indicated that Heisenberg was trying to prevent the construction of the bomb. But among the German physicists working on the project, few were of high moral standards. Still, most people disagree with this theory.

In addition to sabotage theory, there are other possible explanations for why Germany was unable to finish creating its bomb before the US did. On the one hand, German cities were not in “best shape,” while the US invested huge sums in the Manhattan project (code name for the atomic bomb project).
German industry also suffered greatly, which means it could not supply all the necessary materials to create an atomic bomb.
According to other sources, the German team simply did not work hard. They also suffered from the well-known Nazi anti-Semitism. On "Jewish physics"  looked down upon. In addition, many leading Jewish scholars fled to the United States and joined the Manhattan project.

Some believe that the last nail in the coffin of the project was hammered by German arrogance. When they encountered difficulties, they thought that it was impossible to create a bomb.
However, the records show how strong their surprise was when they learned about the bombs dropped by the US on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Secrets of mass weapons

1. Where did all the missing nuclear material go?

From 1993 to 2013, 2477 complaints of criminal or unauthorized incidents involving nuclear material were recorded worldwide.
Among them, 424 are related to illegal possession and criminal activity, 664 - theft or loss, 16 - unauthorized possession of highly enriched uranium or plutonium, 16 - attempts to internationally sell uranium and plutonium.
However, this is only official information provided by member states of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Where is all the missing nuclear material, the loss of which could not be explained?

In the worst case, it is a terrorist organization creating portable nuclear devices. But many are also concerned about the creation of "dirty bombs" that are designed to intentionally spread a huge amount of radiation around the planet.
Despite the opinion of experts who believe that radiation from such bombs is associated only with an increased risk of cancer, fear and the economic consequences can be much more serious.
Even if someone gets the radioactive material, experts say that the damage from the dirty bomb will be small, because the resources needed to create and transport it are huge.

Besides the fact that the lost material can be used to create a bomb, there are fears that people might accidentally find radioactive metal and behave incorrectly with it.
For example, in Thailand in 2000, one person found a locked box, and decided to open it in the hope of discovering something valuable there. However, inside was pieces of radioactive metal. In a short time, several people managed to study the box. All of them received a lethal dose of radiation from cobalt.
In Mexico, since 2013, four thefts of radioactive material have been recorded, in one case the iridium-192 capsule was stolen by accident.
In addition to lost or stolen nuclear material, high-poverty countries that have nuclear programs have the additional risk of being hurt by accidental explosions, by clumsy thieves, or ordinary civilians.