The unnamed 32-year-old, a contractor, was arrested with along with his brother near Lyons on Thursday. He was one of the 7,000 people working on the CERN Large Hadron Collider project near the French-Swiss border. For the most part, since its official opening last year, the LHC has been closed for repairs after a helium leak. It's scheduled to be restarted in November.
CERN was clear in stating that the contractor was not interested in sabotage of the LHC itself. Instead, he was attempting to identify nuclear reactor targets for Al-Qaida. France uses nuclear power as its primary method of generating electricity, and has nearly 60 reactors.
There are those concerned that the LHC can end the world, by either creating microscopic black holes that would devour the Earth, or by creating "strangelets" that would convert any matter it contacted into strange matter, cascading and converting the entire world.
It is true that the scientists involved in the project admit that the creation of microscopic black holes is possible. However, they believe that the black holes will be so unstable they will vanish almost instantly.
It's become such a worry that lawsuits have been filed in both U.S. federal court and the European Court of Human Rights. Walter Wagner, one of the plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit, has created a website called Citizens Against the Large Hadron Collider. The site says:
Some experts fear that the risk of operating the LHC disproportionately outweighs anything science might gain from this experiment. It is not possible to know what the outcome of the experiment will be, but even CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) scientists concede that there is a real possibility of creating destructive theoretical anomalies such as miniature black holes, strangelets and deSitter space transitions. These events have the potential to fundamentally alter matter and destroy our planet.These types of scenarios are similar to that theorized in the film (pictured above; also a Stephen King story) "The Mist," which had some unknown experiment rip a hole into a parallel universe filled with voracious, horrific creatures that spilled through into our universe.
Hey, at least it's not Al-Qaida.