Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
Turkey Confiscates Potential Radiological "Dirty Bomb" Substance
Turkish authorities have confiscated a small quantity of cesium 137 after following up on information indicating the radioactive material had been trafficked into the nation from Georgia, RTT News reported last week (see GSN, Nov. 22, 2010).
The countertrafficking force of the Turkish Gendarmerie Command took control of 500 grams of cesium 137, contained in two glass vials, in Ankara when they inspected the vehicle of three Turkish citizens who were visiting from Germany. The three individuals were taken into custody, officials informed Turkish news organizations.
The inside information provided to authorities said the radioactive material originated in Russia but was smuggled to Turkey via Georgia.
Cesium 137 is widely used in medical therapies against cancer and in the industrial building sector, but experts say the material could also be a key ingredient for a radiological "dirty bomb." Such a weapon would use conventional explosives to disperse radioactive material (RTT News, April 12).
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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.
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