Radioactive Sources Adrift
In October 1994 a small box (45 X 20 X 4 cm.) was stolen from an unguarded repository in Tallinn by three unemployed brothers from a nearby village. The box was sold in Tallinn and never found. Experts believe the box contained cesium 137. One of the brothers died of radiation poisoning after putting a cylindrical metal piece from the box into his coat pocket and everyone who came into contact with the box was hospitalized. It was apparent that the thieves had no idea what they were dealing with. In January 1995 a second box of the same kind, containing cesium 137, was found in Estonia when by chance a radiation monitor was switched on at the Russian Narva border crossing. This box had been abandoned at a children's play area by the side of the highway.
Abstract Number: 19951590
Headline: Radioactive Sources Adrift
Date: August 1995
Bibliography: SSI News, pp. 6-7
Author: Enn Kivisakk
This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury 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 2015.
This article is part of a collection examining reported incidents of nuclear or radioactive materials trafficking in or originating from the Newly Independent States.