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Traces of radiation on British Airways jets


Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 14 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have, to put it mildly, mellowed.

I'm not a believer in brushing the past under the carpet. I've written some offensive rubbish on here in the past: deleting it and pretending it never happened doesn't change that. I hope that stumbling across something that's 14 years old won't offend anyone anew, because I hope that people can understand that what I thought and felt and wrote about then is probably very different to what I think and feel and write about now. It's a relic of an (albeit recent) bygone era.

So, given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views may well have changed in the last 14 years. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find cringeworthy today.
  • This post might use words or language in ways which I would now consider inappropriate, offensive, embarrassing, or all three.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken, and embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

Investigation into Litvinenko's death finds traces of radiation on British Airways jetsTwo British Airways jets have been grounded, as the investigation into Alexander Litvinenko’s death spreads yet further. 33,000 passengers over 221 flights are being contacted ‘as a precaution’.

But pilots and cabin crew wear badges that measure their dose of radiation, since they are naturally exposed to more due to being high up in the atmosphere for long periods of time. Why didn’t their badges show a greater than usual exposure, and hence detect this problem before now?

The only explanation I can think of is that the radiation is very short-range, and the cabin crew were never close enough to be affected. The radiation on Polonium-210 is very short range. Have we discovered how the murder weapon entered the country?

And guess the top destination where those planes have been been flying? Yep, Moscow. It’s looking like Mr Putin can’t ignore this investigation any longer – if the Polonium is shown to have likely come from Moscow, he’s going to have to co-operate, rather than just issue denials. But hours before this story hit the media, Mr Putin announced he’s now decided to cancel his meeting with Mr Blair.


This 1,005th post was filed under: News and Comment.

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Comments and responses

Comment from Ian

    13.19, 02/06/2007

Clearly, Putin is NOT, and has no intention of, playing ball with the UK government over this incident. It seems slightly concerning that someone can enter the UK, commit what appears to be a murder and then be seemingly immune from prosecution back in their home country.

I find it even more typical of modern politics that the European Union are steering clear of this debate; if Russia has signed up to a deportation treaty with EU member states (which they have), then the EU should actually take some action. The question being asked is, “is it worth making a scene over this, as it could make relations with Russia unstable?” My response would be a resounding YES -either we have a relationship with Russia or we don’t. It seems to me that Russia will decide not to co-operate whenever they want, which inhibits a proper working relationship being in existance.

In fairness to Russia though, to my understanding, the UK have blocked extradition requests from Russia, so a reasonable person could ask if there is any mileage for Russia in co-operating; relationships have to work both ways to work.

Do I think this will get resolved soon -no.

Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)

    22.31, 04/06/2007

Welcome to the site, Ian!

What do you think of the whole situation with Russia at the moment? With the combination of Litvinenko, the US missile shield, and everything else that’s going on at the moment, are we heading for a storm in a teacup or all out war?

Comment from Ian

    21.27, 05/06/2007


To be honest, I think that the UK and US are wiser than to escalate this issue with Russia, and I’m confident that we will avoid all out war -it seems to be a bit of a storm in the teacup. The media have a bit of a slow news week, and they think “how can we get the public interested…I know, tell them there is going to be another Cold War”. I think that the missile defence system is typical of the US who seem to think they own the planet. Although, I do think that a defence system can only be a good thing, and don’t really see why Russia has a problem with it, considering the number of missiles they own! Although, I don’t think that Russia should be allowed to point (nuclear) missiles at Europe.

But that’s probably my Conservatism coming through!

Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)

    22.53, 05/06/2007

Hmm, I have to say, I’m not sure where this is going… it’s sort of crept up on us, and will either crawl away again or grow – but Putin and Bush are hardly the most agreeable of people at the best of times, so how are they supposed to agree with each other?

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