Friday, April 18, 2014   

Radioactive material stolen in Mexico
(12-04 18:39)

Thieves in Mexico have stolen a truck containing potentially “extremely dangerous'' radioactive material used in medical treatment, the UN atomic watchdog said.
The truck was transporting a cobalt-60 “teletherapy source'' from a hospital in the northern city of Tijuana to a radioactive waste storage center when it was stolen in Tepojaco near Mexico City on Monday, the International Atomic Energy Agency said.
“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,'' it said.
The IAEA said it was informed about the theft by Mexico's CNSNS nuclear security authority.
The material could in theory be put in a so-called “dirty bomb'' – an explosive device spreading the radioactive material over a wide area.
Such a “radiological dispersal device'' or RDD would be hugely less lethal than an atomic bomb but is much easier to make and could still cause mass panic.—AFP
   
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