Who's Online

We have 663 guests online

Popular

2159 readings
Russian kept plutonium in garage PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Tuesday, 02 November 2004 01:59
Russian kept plutonium in garage

"A former Russian nuclear scientist has handed over to police eight containers of plutonium-238 he had stored at home for eight years. The 400g (14oz) of plutonium-238 - a highly radioactive compound - came from a disused laboratory in Siberia. " Although not enough to make a nuclear bomb, the concern is the use of this substance in a dirty bomb. By comparison the Cassini probe launched 72 pounds  (32 Kg) of plutonium into the atmosphere with it.  -- Space & Technology Editor

Russian kept plutonium in garage

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/europe/3974851.stm
 
Experts fear Soviet-era plutonium could be acquired by militants
A former Russian nuclear scientist has handed over to police eight containers of plutonium-238 he had stored at home for eight years. The 400g (14oz) of plutonium-238 - a highly radioactive compound - came from a disused laboratory in Siberia.

Former employee Leonid Grigorov said he removed the containers for safekeeping after the lab was looted and stored them in a lead case, Russian media say.

He may face criminal proceedings, Russia's Itar-Tass news agency says.

A spokesman for Russia's Atomic Energy Agency (Rosatom), Nikolay Shingaryov, insisted that "this is not weapons-grade plutonium, but an isotope widely used in various instruments".

Counter-terrorism experts have repeatedly warned that radioactive material from decrepit Soviet-era installations could fall into the hands of militants.


'Morally right'

Mr Grigorov is quoted as saying he had written letters to his former bosses warning of the risk posed by radioactive material left in the laboratory in Zmeinogorsk, which was abandoned and looted after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.


When his letters failed to elicit a response, Mr Grigorov says he was obliged to remove the material himself "to prevent anything bad from happening".

He says he took the plutonium from his garage to the local police, in response to a newspaper advertisement announcing a cash reward for surrendering weapons.

Zmeinogorsk police are quoted as saying Mr Grigorov was morally right to have hidden the hazardous material but he may nonetheless face criminal charges.

Itar-Tass said a legal case had been brought against the physicist for "illegal storage of radioactive substances".

Plutonium-238 can be used with ordinary explosives to make a "dirty bomb", potentially contaminating a large area with radiation.

 


Published: 2004/11/02 15:31:59 GMT

? BBC MMIV

Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 November 2004 01:59
 

Latest News