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PostPosted: Dec 07, 2013 6:15 am 
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Joined: Feb 28, 2011 10:10 am
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This story from Mexico, which is published in The Guardian, is about the theft of a truck with medical radioactive waste (Cobalt-60):

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/d ... -poisoning

This makes me a little less worried about the risks of proliferation: stealing radioactive material can be hazardous for the perpetrators themselves. It is also interesting that the author of the article is mentioning "curries" instead of Curies.


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PostPosted: Dec 07, 2013 8:32 am 
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There are other similar stories like this one. Usually its an industrial gamma source or large medical source that is found by some dirt poor people who have run out of options and they try to pry it open maybe to try and sell the source, and end up killing themselves.

Being poor is very dangerous.


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PostPosted: Dec 07, 2013 2:48 pm 
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Joined: Nov 30, 2006 9:18 pm
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Location: Montreal
A good overview of the problem of "orphan" radiation sources and other radiological / nuclear accidents.....

http://utkdms.utk.edu/Mediasite/Play/ffc47ccd241841119bce37f1c0842ea61d?catalog=1fc0c2f2-61eb-4345-b2de-494bb482010d

A Review of Significant Radiological / Nuclear Accidents Since 1944
Dr. Doran M. Christensen
Associate Director
Radiation Emergency Assistance Center / Training Site (REAC/TS)
Oak Ridge Institute for Science & Education (ORISE)
Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Presented March 30, 2005


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PostPosted: Dec 07, 2013 5:36 pm 
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Joined: Dec 01, 2006 7:23 pm
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Does anyone know what form the source is? It it just a pure chunk of cobalt? Will it corrode and leave contaminated soil?

How will they clean it up? By picking it up with a robot and dropping it in a shielded box?

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PostPosted: Dec 08, 2013 2:40 pm 
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Found some answers. From http://news.yahoo.com/mexico-plans-safely-box-recovered-120209524.html;_ylt=A2KLOzF2taRSzzkARcvQtDMD , Juan Eibenschutz, director general of the National Commission of Nuclear Safety and Safeguards, ... said the pellets are inside an unbroken copper cylinder about 4-inches (10-centimers) long and 1.2-inches (3-centimeters) in diameter. So all they have to do is pick it up and there should be no contamination of the ground.

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PostPosted: Dec 11, 2013 2:05 pm 
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Joined: Dec 01, 2006 7:23 pm
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The source has been recovered. They used a robot. There is one more victim:


Eibenschutz said a farmer was being checked at a hospital after showing signs of radiation exposure. The man, who lives in the nearby farming town of Hueypoxtla, told authorities that he handled the material after finding it in the field and started feeling sick soon after.


http://ca.news.yahoo.com/stolen-cobalt-60-finally-removed-mexican-cornfield-week-040355243.html

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