Extremely dangerous radioactive material stolen in Mexico

first_imgTHIEVES IN MEXICO have stolen a truck containing potentially “extremely dangerous” radioactive material used in medical treatment, the UN atomic watchdog said today.The truck was transporting a cobalt-60 teletherapy source from a hospital in the northern city of Tijuana to a radioactive waste storage centre when it was stolen in Tepojaco near Mexico City, the International Atomic Energy Agency said. The IAEA said it was informed about the theft on 2 December by Mexico’s CNSNS nuclear security authority.“The Mexican authorities are currently conducting a search for the source and have issued a press release to alert the public,” the IAEA said in a statement.The material could not be used in a conventional nuclear weapon but could in theory be put in a so-called “dirty bomb” – an explosive device spreading the radioactive material over a wide area.Experts have long warned about the danger posed by the large amounts of such material held in hospitals and other locations around the world under insufficient security.Read: Engineers begin dangerous task of removing fuel rods from Fukushima> At the time the truck was stolen, the source was properly shielded. However, the source could be extremely dangerous to a person if removed from the shielding, or if it was damaged.last_img read more

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