Pakistan News Service

Wednesday Apr 23, 2014, Jumada-al-thani 22, 1435 Hijri
Logo Logo
LATEST :
Pakistan News Home -> Tribune Corner -> News Details

'Dangerous' radioactive material stolen in Mexico truck: IAEA

05 December, 2013

  Related News  
LJ leader added to US global terrorist list
Nawaz calls for civil-military joint strategy on Balochistan
  More on this View All

VIENNA: 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.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, the Vienna-based U.N. nuclear body, did not give details on how much of the radioactive source, cobalt-60, was in the truck at the time.

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 unauthorised 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 terrorise 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.

End.

 What do you think about the story ? Leave your comments!

Heading (Optional)
Your Comments: *

Your Name:*
E-mail (Optional):
City (Optional):
Country (Optional):
 
 
Field marked(*) are mandatory.
Note. The PakTribune will publish as many comments as possible but cannot guarantee publication of all. PakTribune keeps its rights reserved to edit the comments for reasons of clarity, brevity and morality. The external links like http:// https:// etc... are not allowed for the time being to be posted inside comments to discourage spammers.

  Speak Out View All
Artilce 6 and Musharraf Trail
Blocking Nato supply line
  Quick Vote Show Results
Question: "In view of the current situation do you think Talks with Taliban should take place only within the ambit of Article 4 of Objectives Resolution that defines our Common Purpose i.e. PM/ President down to all Pakistanis to work till we achieve the rights of Democracy, Freedom, Tolerance and Social Justice for all Pakistanis:"
Yes
No
 
Candid Corner
Exclusive by
Lt. Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd)
Drone kills 15 'Qaeda', three civilians in Yemen: security
Senior journalist Hamid Mir hurt in Karachi attack
Suggested Sites