Russia seizes Iran-bound radioactive material
Friday 16 December 2011
Russia's customs service said today it had seized radioactive sodium-22, an isotope that is used in medical equipment but has no weapons use, from the luggage of a passenger planning to fly from Moscow to Tehran.
The service said in a statement that the material could be obtained only "as a result of a nuclear reactor's operations" but did not say when it had been discovered at Moscow's Sheremetyevo international airport.
The material triggered an alarm in the airport's radiation control system and a luggage search led to the discovery of 18 pieces of the radioactive metal packed in individual steel casings, it said.
The passenger boarded the plane for Tehran and left Russia, the customs service said. It added that the passenger was Iranian national. Russian law enforcement agencies opened criminal investigation into the incident.
Sodium-22 can be used for calibrating nuclear detectors and in medical equipment, nuclear experts said.
"There is no weapons aspect to this (material)," said Research director Lars-Erik De Geer of the Swedish Defence Research Institute.
Tension is rising between Western powers and Iran after a United Nations nuclear watchdog report last month that said Tehran appeared to have worked on designing a nuclear weapon, and that secret research to that end may be continuing.
Russia, which built Iran's first nuclear power station, has said it might help Tehran construct more atomic plants.
There was no immediate comment from the International Atomic Energy Agency on the incident and whether Russian authorities had reported it to the Vienna-based UN body.
Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Katie Hopkins and The Sun editor David Dinsmore reported to police for incitement to racial hatred following migrant boat column
'Jihadi John': Isis executioner Mohammed Emwazi wanted to wage jihad in Somalia until his friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
Parma, Missouri: 80 per cent of town's police quit after first black mayor is elected
Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
- 1 Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 2 Katie Hopkins and The Sun editor David Dinsmore reported to police for incitement to racial hatred following migrant boat column
- 3 Giorgio Armani criticises the way some gay men dress saying 'a man has to be a man'
- 4 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
- 5 Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity has arisen ...
£16000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of Ford's leading Parts Who...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: Do you want to learn ...