Radioactive Material Found at Chornobyl NPP, Ukraine
Ukrainian authorities have found radioactive material that was believed to be stolen in 1995, The Associated Press reported on 28 September 2005.  A plastic bag with 13 pipes and a 10-centimeter bar resembling fragments of nuclear fuel rods was discovered in the compound of the closed Chernobyl nuclear power plant (NPP).  The UNIAN news agency reported that the bag, emitting background radiation of 50 microroentgen per hour, was found during a routine radiation check in the territory surrounding the sarcophagus which encases unit four of the plant. The bag was hidden under a railroad car parked near the sarcophagus. 
Chernobyl NPP authorities said the bag containing pipes was taken to a temporary storage area, and an investigation into the incident is underway. 
In 1995, four people were detained and later convicted for stealing over 5 kg of fresh nuclear fuel from a fuel assembly in unit four at Chernobyl NPP (for details, please see abstracts 19961590, 19961660, 19961730 and 19962040. A spokesman for the Chernobyl plant, Stanislav Shektela, said the newly found material could have been stolen by the same people, who hid it but never managed to take out of the complex due to tightened security.  Previous reports on the case, however, did not mention any additional material as missing.
After the 1995 case, the Chernobyl NPP introduced additional controls over the nuclear fuel in unit four and installed radiation detection equipment in the main building and the sarcophagus zone. 
 Aleksandar Vasovic, “Ukrainian Authorities Find Radioactive Material Believed to Be Stolen from Chernobyl,” The Associated Press, September 28, 2005, in Lexis-Nexis.
 “V Chernobyle naideno ukradennoye 10 let nazad yadernoye toplivo” [Nuclear Fuel Stolen 10 Years Ago Found in Chernobyl], Lenta.ru, September 28, 2005.
 “Na ChAES predotvrashchena popytka hishcheniya yadernogo topliva” [“An Attempt to Steal Nuclear Fuel Prevented at the Chernobyl NPP”], UNIAN news agency, September 28, 2005.
Abstract Number: 20050230
Headline: Ukraine Secures Missing Radioactive Material
Date: 28 September 2005
Bibliography: Associated Press, 28 September 2005
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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