Iraq Thieves Dump Stolen Radioactive Material

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Iraq Thieves Dump Stolen Radioactive Material

Post by Guest on Sun Feb 21, 2016 5:42 pm

Radioactive material stolen from an Iraqi oil depot in November has been found dumped near a petrol station - ending fears it had fallen into Islamic State's hands.
Officials have said the protective case storing the Iridium-192 has not been damaged, meaning "there is absolutely no concern of radiation".
Once the laptop-sized device disappeared from a storage facility in Zubair, near Basra, patrols were stepped up to ensure the radioactive material would remain in the southern city.
"After failing to take it out of the town, the perpetrators decided to dump it," a security officer told Reuters.
"I assure you it is only a matter of time before we arrest those who stole the radioactive device."
The package was discovered by a passer-by who informed the security services - and shortly afterwards, a special radiation prevention team successfully retrieved the device.
Exposure to Iridium-192 for just a few minutes can leave someone permanently injured, and it can prove fatal if a person is in close proximity to the material for hours or days.
Senior security officials had expressed concern that the "highly dangerous" radioactive material could have been attached to explosives to make a dirty bomb.
This can cause nuclear material to be scattered over a wide area - rendering parts of a town or city unusable for generations.
Iridium-192 employs gamma rays to test for flaws in oil and gas pipelines.
The stolen material reportedly belongs to the Swiss inspections group SGS - however, it was being stored at a site belonging to Weatherford, a US oilfield services company near Basra. Both companies have denied responsibility for the disappearance.
:: Three years ago, a similar container was stolen from a van in Lancashire. A month later, trained officers recovered it from a retail park in Rochdale, Greater Manchester.

http://news.sky.com/story/1645973/iraq-thieves-dump-stolen-radioactive-material

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