Who Is At Fault? Was Anyone At Fault?

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    People tend to see things differently, I thought it might be interesting to see the different opinions of the members of the CR.

    Who (if anyone) is at fault in the following case.

    This is a real news article from the 24th of June.

    BERLIN (Reuters) – A toy nuclear power plant built by two six year-olds sparked a public alert in Germany, only for authorities to discover the would-be security threat was the shell of a computer with a radiation warning sign stuck to it.

    Fire services and police cordoned off several streets and told residents to stay indoors in the western town of Oelde after the two boys left their mock power station on the street when they went home for dinner Monday evening.

    “It wasn’t a prank, they were just playing,” a local police spokeswoman said Tuesday. “The boys tried to go back later to carry on but the fire brigade wouldn’t let them through.”

    The lock-down of the area began when a passer-by saw the metal object with the yellow and black symbol on it, took fright and alerted authorities, the spokeswoman said.

    Police sent out warnings on local radio for residents to remain in their homes while a radiation detector was rushed to the scene to investigate the old computer casing and the warning sign, which the boys had printed out from the internet.

    After the object had been identified, the boys’ parents explained to police the children had gone out to “play nuclear power station” that evening, the spokeswoman said.


    The parents were negligent in not monitoring their children’s toy.


    The kids sound so innovative! I do not see anything wrong with what the children did. How should they have known better? Their parents probably didn’t even know what they were up to.

    anon for this

    How could the parents have foreseen that a passerby would assume there was radioactive material? They may not have known the children had added a warning sign, which seems to be what confused the neighbor. It’s not as if they’d assembled a nuclear reactor in their parents’ shed or something.


    Anon, if my kids were playing with anything and put a radioactive symbol on it, I would make sure it wasnt displayed in an area where people could be worried.

    Although, the neighbors should have been smart enough to call to ask if there was anything in the yard they didnt know about.


    Nuclear Power Plant! What a fun game!

    Before we judge them, I think we should learn how to play, so I looked up the rules. First you need money. Monopoly money won’t do, you need bigger numbers – use “Life” money. You will need about 8 – 10 sets of Life moneypacks per city block that your reactor is to power. Your opponent gets to represent various interests groups that will prevent you from getting anywhere. If you successfully dispose of all your opponents, then you have 10 minutes to blow up or melt down your reactor.

    Seriously, what type of game is “Nuclear Power Plant”? I am nebach from the “older generation” who did not have such fun as children.

    anon for this

    SJS, I see what you are saying, but it would not have occurred to me to think that a an old computer shell with a taped-on printout sign would alarm my neighbors. Although I wouldn’t let my children leave their toys in the street either.

    squeak, they seem to have thought up the game on their own. Nuclear power is pretty much non-existent in Germany. Not like France or even the US.


    I’m with Ames. Kids these days… 🙂



    Remember that in Germany there are many Muslims. The fear of a dirty bomb is a real one in Europe.

    The police were right to overreact, but still the kids were indeed very creative and they and their parents deserve no punishment whatsoever.



    Do you really believe that if it were intended to be a terrorist device, they would have attached a nuclear sticker to it?



    Do you not remember the yukels (Ramzi Ahmed Yousef YMS and disgusting company) who were responsible for the first WTC bombing and how they tried to get their deposit back for the truck they used? Many of these fanatics are the products of generations of inbreeding and have the brainpower of addled sheep.

    It is not past their meager capabilities to steal clearly marked radioactive material from a lab and plant it somewhere, while failing to remove the stickers!


    Does this remind anyone else of the following story?

    The Radioactive Boy Scout

    (The article below was cut-and-pasted from wikipedia. I originally read about this in Readers Digest)

    David Hahn (born October 30, 1976) is a man known for his attempt to build a fast breeder nuclear reactor in 1994 in his backyard shed in Commerce Township, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, at age 17.

    Hahn, nicknamed the “Radioactive Boy Scout”, is an Eagle Scout who got a merit badge in Atomic Energy and spent years tinkering with basement chemistry which sometimes resulted in small explosions and other mishaps. He was inspired in part by reading The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments, and tried to collect samples of every element in the periodic table, including the radioactive ones. Hahn diligently amassed this radioactive material by collecting small amounts from household products, such as americium from smoke detectors, thorium from camping lantern mantles, radium from clocks and tritium (as neutron moderator) from gunsights. His “reactor” was a large, bored-out block of lead, and he used lithium from $1,000 worth of stolen batteries to purify the thorium ash using a Bunsen burner.[1]

    Hahn posed as an adult scientist or professor to gain the trust of many professionals in letters, despite the presence of misspellings and obvious errors in his letters to them. Hahn ultimately hoped to create a breeder reactor, using low-level isotopes to transform samples of thorium and uranium into fissionable isotopes.

    Although his homemade reactor never achieved critical mass, it ended up emitting dangerous levels of radioactivity, likely well over 1,000 times normal background radiation. Alarmed, Hahn began to dismantle his experiments, but a chance encounter with police led to the discovery of his activities, which triggered a Federal Radiological Emergency Response involving the FBI and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The United States Environmental Protection Agency, having designated Hahn’s mother’s property as a Superfund hazardous materials cleanup site, dismantled the shed and its contents and buried them as low-level radioactive waste in Utah. Hahn refused medical evaluation for radiation exposure.

    anon for this

    ICOT, that’s what I was referring to in the last sentence of my first post to this thread.


    anon for this-

    I missed it the first time around – so it seems more than one person noticed the resemblance.


    I remember the ones who tried to get their deposit money back. They needed to do so to pay for their airline ticket out of the country. Nobody was funding their operation and they reserved a child’s seat so that they had a seat, and they were planning on upgrading to an adult fare at the airport.

    Nevertheless, they did not put a biohazard sticker on the van.


    ames – it is British semaphore for N and D. Which was exactly what we wanted for peace.


    nope, but no one wanted nuclear war. And we were all much afeared of it.


    In todays America the subject of this thread should be renamed to

    “Who should we blame. Can we blame anyone besides ourselves?”


    Apparently Mutually Assured Destruction was sufficient to prevent nuclear war during the cold war.


    Joseph is exactly right, but we didn’t know that we could rely on that then, and we still don’t now. Crazies don’t care if they will be wiped out too.

    I don’t know how I really feel about disarmament. It’s certain that no country will do so unilaterally. But even if all countries disarm, nuclear technology can be redeveloped pretty easily as long as the materials exist (and there’s no “peak-uranium” in sight, ever). I don’t think there can ever again be a world without nuclear power. So is it a good idea to get rid of weapons which developing countries might conceivably have tomorrow?



    Those are very good questions.

    1) Did you think that the U.S. should disarm too? No. There are terrorist states that need to know we have the will and capability of nuclear retaliation if they strike us with WMDs (nuclear, chemical or biological).

    2) Do you think Russia is really going to cut back on nuclear weapon stockpiles, like they just said they will do? That is mostly irrelevant, because they will definitely leave themselves enough to destroy the U.S. in case of war, as well as intimidate the neighborhood.


    One country that absolutely needs nukes is Israel. It is a serious deterrent to its surrounding enemies. They know that even if they defeat Israel militarily, Israel will use its nuclear arsenal if its survival is at stake.


    ICOT – to say “use its nuclear arsenal to survive” is an oxymoron. Especially for Israel, who lives so close to its targets.


    ames, did you put Pakistan there on purpose? Or did you just pull it out of the hat? Is it more like Iran? (There’s a reason why I’d like to know…)


    Pakistan has nukes. Iran is still attempting to obtain them.


    Thanks Joe. Suspicions confirmed…


    “But I just don’t find that people are afraid like they seemed to have been in the Cold War years. Why is that?”

    the same reason that 100 years ago an abortionist was considered an evil devil.

    the same reason that Kevorkian would have gotten the electric chair

    the same reason that 50 years ago it would have been inconceivable that someone could sue mcdonalds for their spilling coffee on ones own lap.

    people will get used to Anything if it is brought upon them little by little.

    that is the reason that Chazal stress the vast importance of Preishus (keeping away from that which is permitted if it could eventually bring one to Avairah)even beyond what the Rabbonim have already assured, the degree of ones preishus depending on ones madrega and ones love and fear of the RibbonoShelOlam.


    no im not saying we are getting used to the idea that it is inevitable

    we are getting used to the possibility of nuclear war but we dont think about it anymore

    its not new

    its old hat

    if you lived in a cabin out in the wilderness and never had any danger. then one day a very big grizzly bear made its home just outside your back door

    your whole life would change. youd be terrified

    but year after year when nothing happened you would go on with business as usual with hardly a thought to the bear

    you get used to things

    like when Amalek attacked, cooling off the water, for other nations to attack

    there will not be a global nuclear war.

    Good Shabbos


    ames, an anti-semitic incident occurred recently to me and my family by Pakistani’s. I never really looked into what their country was up to, but for some reason I thought that they are still the third world country they were. I didn’t think they (the pakistani’s in Pakistan) really had power to harm us. Now Joe informed us that they DO have nukes. I hope you understand since I’d rather not spell out the details of the incident-you can use your imagination!


    wow talk about overeacting

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