They’re demanding the sum of… one million dollars

The lesson from this unfortunate episode is that mutual assured destruction doesn’t always work. Bloomberg brings us the news (hat tip Felix Salmon):

April 14 (Bloomberg) — Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. is sitting on enough uranium cake to make a nuclear bomb as it waits for prices of the commodity to rebound, according to traders and nuclear experts. […]

The uranium, which may be as much as 500,000 pounds, might fetch $20 million at today’s prices of about $40.50 per pound, said traders who asked not to be named because of the confidential nature of the data. Marsal said the traders’ estimate of Lehman’s uranium holding is “reasonable,” while declining to be more specific. […]

A supply of 500,000 pounds of yellowcake is just “slightly” less than the amount needed to make one bomb, or fuel one nuclear power reactor for a year, if the latest enrichment technologies are used, said Gennady Pshakin, an Obninsk, Russia-based nonproliferation expert.

The “toxic waste on the balance sheet” jokes pretty much write themselves.

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