Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
Illicit Strontium 90 Deal Busted in Armenia
Two Armenian citizens were detained following an attempted sale of radioactive strontium 90 in their home nation, Agence France-Presse reported on Saturday (see GSN, Nov. 10, 2010).
"Two residents of Yerevan, Armen Hunanyan and Alfred Bznuni, were arrested while trying to sell a radioactive substance, strontium 90," the Armenian National Security Service said in a prepared statement. It did not provide specifics on how much material was involved or to whom the suspects allegedly intended to sell the strontium.
Armenia in 2011 detained four nationals on suspicion of trying to sell strontium 90, AFP reported. The previous year the nation uncovered an effort to sneak highly enriched uranium into Georgia.
Strontium 90 is considered a potential ingredient for producing a "dirty bomb," which would use conventional explosives to disperse radioactive material. It is among the highly radioactive materials that "require particular attention for safety and security reasons," according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (Agence France-Presse/Calgary Herald, April 14).
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Providing free and open access to centralized information on nuclear and other radioactive material that has been lost, stolen, or is otherwise out of regulatory control, the Global Incidents and Trafficking Database and Report prepared by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) offers researchers and policymakers a unique resource to assess the nature and scope of nuclear security risks.
This article provides an overview of Armenia’s historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.