Cesium-137 Seized in Akhtubinsk, Russia
Two small cylindrical containers bearing radioactive warning labels and the inscription "harmful to life" were found in a shed in Akhtubinsk, Astrakhan Oblast, in southern Russia, Regions.ru reported on 4 April 2003. The owner of the shed called the police, who in turn called the Ministry of Emergency Situations. Officials removed the containers to a special storage facility and warned area residents about the possible danger. Tests, however, showed that the radiation level at the site where the containers were found was normal and that there was no threat posed to public health. Regions.ru quotes an unnamed source saying that the cylinders were found to contain the radioactive isotope cesium-137. The owner of the shed, who recently inherited the property after his mother's death, says he has no idea where the containers came from. It is thought that there has been an underground market for radioactive materials at the military base in Akhtubinsk since Soviet times. According to Regions.ru, a container similar to those found last week was found in another district of the city last year. A criminal case has been opened in connection with the incident.
Abstract Number: 20030220
Headline: Astrakhanskaya oblast: konteynery s tseziem-137 khranilis v sarae u pensionerki [Astrakhan oblast: containers with cesium-137 found in old woman's barn]
Date: 4 April 2003
Bibliography: Regions.Ru; in Integrum Techno, http://www.integrum.ru
Material: Radioactive Isotopes
This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors, officers, employees, or agents. Copyright © 2011 by MIIS.
This article is part of a collection examining reported incidents of nuclear or radioactive materials trafficking in or originating from the Newly Independent States.
Global Security Newswire
May 22, 2013
A number of decades-old mortar cartridges filled with mustard blister agent have been pulled from a dumping site at the Deseret Chemical Depot in Utah, and more are expected to be located, the Salt Lake Tribune reported on Wednesday.
May 22, 2013
A senior military official led a group of North Korean personnel to China on Wednesday for talks seemingly aimed at lowering tensions between the longtime allies, Reuters reported.