WASHINGTON (CAP) - The price of weapons-grade Plutonium surged $200 over the past three weeks to an all-time high of just over $4,000 per gram, according to an international survey. And with the start of terrorist season just around the corner, prices are not expected to drop anytime soon.
"This latest price surge smashes the record high for the third time this year," said independent terrorism economist Omar McNalley. "At this point, you have to think it's starting to be priced out of the range of your average terrorist."
Indeed, according to the Bureau Of Labor Statistics, the purchasing power of the average terrorist for Plutonium and other nuclear materials has declined steadily over the past decade, with more and more nuclear threats coming from firms with established terrorism programs.
However, Homeland Security officials warn against thinking the war against terrorism will be won on cost alone.
"The same amount of nuclear material is moving into the wrong hands now as was a year ago," said Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson. "It's just moving into fewer hands. Allows us to keep a closer eye on it, but it's still out there."
According to McNalley, a bump in the price of enriched Uranium, Isotopic-U3O8 35%, is at least partly to blame for the Plutonium spike. And he said that while it's not apparent now, taxpayers will eventually feel the pinch of these rising prices.
"Not only are terrorists having to reach deeper into their pockets, but so are the legitimate users of Plutonium," McNalley said. "This means needing to funnel more taxpayer dollars into nuclear programs, which will in turn take that money away from other things like the war in Afghanistan that isn't taking place."
Economists are in general agreement that the recent price hike may help keep nuclear technology out of Iran's hands for at least a little bit longer.
- CAP News Staff