This news story came this afternoon, and is being shared across mass media. It’s important because the truck and load could cross the US/Mexico border at any time, and potentially be used in some future attack on US soil.
Please read and share far and wide…
By Connor Simpson @ The Wire
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection dog inspects a truck coming from Mexico into San Diego in November. Radioactive material filled a different truck that international authorities said was stolen on Monday just outside of Mexico City (John Moore/Getty Images).
The United Nations’ nuclear watchdog is raising warning flags after learning that some potentially dangerous materials may have fallen into the wrong hands.
The International Atomic Energy Agency announced on Wednesday that someone stole a truck transporting cobalt-60, a radioactive material used in cancer treatments, en route to a nuclear waste disposal site in Tijuana.
On Monday, Dec. 2, thieves hijacked the truck in Tepojaco, just outside of Mexico City, and now possess some “very dangerous” nuclear material, according to the IAEA.
Agence France-Presse explains:
“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.
“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.”
The criminals and the public are not in immediate danger, though, unless they quickly realize what they stole.
“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,” the IAEA reportedly said.
The hope is that whatever criminals hijacked the truck, didn’t realize exactly what they were stealing.
Reprinted with permission from the The Wire. The original story can be found here.
Read the full story and updates at the Global Security Newswire website
UPDATE: The radioactive material that was on the truck has been found, according to the AP news service…
Stolen radioactive material that was reported missing in Mexico early Wednesday has been recovered and there’s no risk to the surrounding population, a Mexican official said.
The material had been onboard a truck that was reported stolen from a gas station early Tuesday, said Juan Eibenschutz, director general of the National Commission of Nuclear Safety and Safeguards.
Eibenschutz said the area is about a half-mile from the nearest town and so far poses no threat or need for evacuation.
The truck was carrying a metal container of cobalt-60 to a nuclear waste facility in the state of Mexico, which is adjacent to Mexico City.
Eibenschutz said direct exposure to the cobalt would result in death within a few minutes.
“This is a radioactive source that is very strong,” Eibenschutz said earlier Wednesday, adding that it can be almost immediately fatal, depending on proximity.
Eibenschutz didn’t know the exact weight, but said it was the largest amount stolen in recent memory, and the intensity of the material caused the alert. Local, state and federal authorities, including the military, joined the search for the truck.
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