Kazakhstani Police Seieze Radioactive Radium
Kazakhstani police seized two containers of radioactive radium in a special operation, Ekspress-K reported on 11 May 2000. The radium had been stolen from a storehouse of the Lazurit joint stock company in Zyryanovsk 18 months ago. The theives did not attempt to sell the radium for a year and a half, but recently the police received a tip that the thieves would try to transport the radium out of Zyryanovsk, and they intensified traffic stops. Police stopped the car of an unemployed man from Zyryanovsk who was transporting the containers to Ust-Kamenogorsk, and seized them. The exact amount of radium in the containers was not specified in the report. The police do not know who was the intended buyer of the material. The Interior Ministry and the National Security Committee of Kazakhstan have neither officially confirmed nor denied the seizure. Ekspress-K added that 'orphaned' radioactive sources are common in Kazakhstan, because when organizations using radioactive materials in their work go bankrupt and close, they often abandon radioactive sources rather than pay the high fees to bury them in the country's only nuclear burial ground near Almaty. The newspaper noted that the price of 10 to 20 grams of radium is $1,500-2,000. However, Aleksandr Klets, the director general of a state ecological scientific production association, said no one would buy such materials without certifying documents.
Abstract Number: 20000320
Headline: Police Seize Two Containers With Radium in East Kazakhstan
Date: 11 May 2000
Bibliography: FBIS Document CEP20000516000028
Author: Police Seize Two Containers With Radium in East Kazakhstan
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.
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