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Medical radioactive material truck ‘stolen in Mexico’

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-25212648

Mexican police are hunting for the truck and its contents

The IAEA did not give details on how much radioactive material was in the vehicle when it was seized, but offered to assist Mexican authorities.

A truck carrying medical radioactive material has been stolen in Mexico, the UN’s nuclear watchdog says.

Mexico told the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that the truck was carrying a “dangerous radioactive source” used for cancer treatments when it was stolen on Monday.

The radiotherapy source was being taken from a hospital in the northern city of Tijuana to a waste storage centre.

It was stolen near the capital, Mexico City.

Mexico’s Nuclear Security Commission said that at the time of the theft, the cobalt-60 teletherapy source was “properly shielded”.

But the commission warned it could be “extremely dangerous to a person if removed from the shielding, or if it was damaged”.

Local media reported that the truck, a 2.5-tonne Volkswagen Worker, was stolen by armed men at a petrol station in Tepojaco, on the outskirts of Mexico City on Monday morning.

Handout picture of nuclear material The theft took place at a petrol station

BBC world affairs correspondent Rajesh Mirchandani says Cobalt-60 could theoretically be used in a so-called “dirty bomb” – an explosive device that could spread radioactive material over a wide area – although there is no official suggestion this was the purpose of the theft.

Mexican police are currently conducting a search for the truck and its contents and have issued a press release to alert the public to its potential dangers.

Experts have long warned about the danger posed by radioactive material used for medical treatments and research in hospitals.

The IAEA did not give details on how much radioactive material was in the vehicle when it was seized, but offered to assist Mexican authorities.

“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.

More than 100 incidents of thefts and other unauthorised activities involving nuclear and radioactive material are reported to the IAEA each year.

December 4, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized

2 Comments »

  1. thanks for the extra info on the medical source Roger..
    As to DU rounds paragraph, you couldnt tell us if they did use DU as they have everything marked top secret. claims are all we have i am afraid.. did UNEP get dose advice from the icrp and unscear?? its obvious that the usa nuclear mob are in cahoots with the chinese nuclear corporations as well as others to cover up the info on anything nuclear… as evidence
    japan – secrets law
    uk – threat from decommissioning corporations to withdraw co-operation from the government (DECC) unless they did what the corporations say..
    USA – NSA and loads of letters like prism etc
    Russia – ask rosatom or bellona
    the evidence is mounting
    you will hear it on this blog first..
    🙂
    peace

    Comment by arclight2011part2 | December 6, 2013 | Reply

  2. “The health risk depends on time of exposure and distance to the pellets, said Dr. Fred Mettler, a University of New Mexico’s radiology professor and a U.S. representative to the U.N. on radiation safety.

    “If you hold the source in your hand for five or six or eight minutes you are probably going to get enough radiation to your whole body that may well kill you,” he said. “But if somebody is across the street, they are not going to enough to really make them sick.””
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=248757479
    h/t http://health.phys.iit.edu/archives/2013-December/039198.html

    Comment by arclight2011part2 | December 6, 2013 | Reply


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