Author Topic: 'Dangerous' radioactive material stolen in Mexico truck: IAEA  (Read 377 times)

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Offline massadvj

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'Dangerous' radioactive material stolen in Mexico truck: IAEA
« on: December 04, 2013, 10:58:59 AM »


http://news.yahoo.com/39-dangerous-39-radioactive-material-stolen-mexico-truck-113028277.html

'Dangerous' radioactive material stolen in Mexico truck: IAEA
Reuters


VIENNA (Reuters) - Thieves have made off with a truck in Mexico carrying a dangerous radioactive material used in medical treatments, the United Nations nuclear watchdog said on Wednesday.

Cobalt-60 can potentially also be used to make a so-called "dirty bomb", where conventional explosives are used to disperse radiation from a radioactive source. But the IAEA made no mention of this in its statement.

The IAEA said it had been informed by Mexican authorities that the truck, which was taking cobalt-60 from a hospital in the northern city of Tijuana to a radioactive waste storage centre, was stolen in Tepojaco near Mexico City on Monday.

"At the time the truck was stolen, the (radioactive) source was properly shielded. However, the source could be extremely dangerous to a person if removed from the shielding, or if it was damaged," the IAEA statement said.

The IAEA has offered to assist Mexican authorities, who it said were searching for the material and had alerted the public.

More than 100 incidents of thefts and other unauthorized activities involving nuclear and radioactive material are reported to the IAEA annually, the U.N. agency said earlier this year.

Because radioactive material is regarded as less hard to find and the device easier to manufacture, experts say a so-called "dirty bomb" is a more likely threat than a nuclear bomb in any attack by militants.

Experts describe the threat of a crude fissile nuclear bomb, which is technically difficult to manufacture and requires hard-to-obtain bomb-grade uranium or plutonium, as a "low probability, high consequence act" - unlikely but with the potential to cause large-scale harm to life and property.

But a "dirty bomb" is seen as a "high probability, low consequence act" with more potential to terrorize than cause large loss of life.

At a nuclear security summit in 2012, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano specifically singled out cobalt-60 among radioactive sources that could be used for such bombs.

"These materials, such as cobalt-60, could be used along with conventional explosives to make so-called dirty bombs. A dirty bomb detonated in a major city could cause mass panic, as well as serious economic and environmental consequences," Amano said, according to a copy of his speech.

(Reporting by Fredrik Dahl and Michael Shields; Editing by Mark Heinrich)
"She only coughs when she lies."

Offline massadvj

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Re: 'Dangerous' radioactive material stolen in Mexico truck: IAEA
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2013, 11:59:44 AM »
OPapaDoc's appeasement chickens about to come home to roost?
"She only coughs when she lies."

Offline flowers

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Re: 'Dangerous' radioactive material stolen in Mexico truck: IAEA
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2013, 01:06:53 PM »
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/dec/4/mexican-truck-radioactive-load-stolen/

Quote
MEXICO CITY (AP) — A truck carrying an extremely dangerous radioactive substance has been stolen in central Mexico, the U.N. nuclear agency said Wednesday.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said the truck was carrying cobalt-60, used for radiotherapy treatment to combat cancer. An IAEA statement Wednesday said the truck was stolen Monday while taking the material to a radioactive waste storage center from the northern city of Tijuana.

The IAEA said the heist occurred in Tepojaco, a town near Mexico City, and describes the load as “extremely dangerous” if damaged or removed from its protective shielding. It said Mexican authorities are searching for the material.

The statement provided no further details.


Offline Atomic Cow

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Re: 'Dangerous' radioactive material stolen in Mexico truck: IAEA
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2013, 01:09:44 PM »
The thieves probably don't have a clue what they stole.  They'll be in for a rude awakening if they open the cases.
"...And these atomic bombs which science burst upon the world that night were strange, even to the men who used them."  H. G. Wells, The World Set Free, 1914

"The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections." -Lord Acton

Offline Atomic Cow

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Re: 'Dangerous' radioactive material stolen in Mexico truck: IAEA
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2013, 10:48:06 PM »
Threads merged.

******************

Stolen radioactive material that was reported missing in Mexico early Wednesday has been recovered and there's no risk to the surrounding population, a Mexico official said.

The highly radioactive material was found in an empty lot about a half a mile from Hueypoxtla, an agricultural town of about 4,000 people, but it poses no threat or a need for an evacuation, said Juan Eibenschutz, director general of the National Commission of Nuclear Safety and Safeguards.

"Fortunately, there are no people where the source of radioactivity is," Eibenschutz said.

The cargo truck hauling the extremely dangerous material that had been used in medical equipment was stolen from a gas station early Tuesday, and authorities had put out an alert in six central states and the capital looking for it. Police and the military joined in the hunt.

The truck was taking the cobalt to a nuclear waste facility in the state of Mexico, which is adjacent to Mexico City.

Eibenschutz said direct exposure to cobalt-60 could result in death within a few minutes. He said hospitals near the area were asked to report if they treat anyone exposed to radioactivity.

"This is a radioactive source that is very strong," Eibenschutz told The Associated Press.

But, he added, the material poses no threat to human life if kept at least 500 yards (500 meters) away.

Eibenschutz didn't know the exact weight of cobalt, but said it was the largest amount stolen in recent memory, and the intensity of the material caused the alert.

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/12/04/stolen-radioactive-material-found-in-mexico/
"...And these atomic bombs which science burst upon the world that night were strange, even to the men who used them."  H. G. Wells, The World Set Free, 1914

"The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections." -Lord Acton

Offline SouthTexas

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Re: 'Dangerous' radioactive material stolen in Mexico truck: IAEA
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2013, 11:13:09 AM »
"Fortunately, there are no people where the source of radioactivity is," Eibenschutz said.

They all died.

Offline flowers

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Re: 'Dangerous' radioactive material stolen in Mexico truck: IAEA
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2013, 05:38:13 PM »
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2518484/Stolen-radioactive-liquid-container-truck-EMPTY-contents-dumped-kilometer-away.html

Quote
A truck that contained highly radioactive material that could be used by terrorists to create a 'dirty bomb' has been found but the lives of the thieves who stole it could be in danger.

The highly radioactive material was found in an empty parking lot about a kilometer from Hueypoxtla, a small farming town of about 4,000 people - close to where it was originally stolen.

Officials say the radioactive source had been removed from its container but say whoever had opened could die 'because the source's intensity is very high'.
'They will eventually have to go to a hospital, and we'll be waiting for them,' NNSC official Mardonio Jimenez said.



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