50,000 curies of cesium-137 recovered from Mexico

radioactivesignThe National Nuclear Security Administration today said the NNSA, in conjunction with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, United Mexican States and other agencies, recovered three U.S.-origin radioactive sources — totaling 50,000 curies of cesium-137– from southern Mexico and transported them to an Air Force Base in the U.S. The shipment was then moved to an unnamed storage facility for safekeeping. According to the NNSA release, the three irradiators recovered from Mexico were used for decades to help eradicate a livestock parasite (screwworm). Cesium-137 is a particular concern because of its potential use in so-called dirty bombs (radiological dispersal devices).

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Senior Writer Frank Munger covers the Dept. of Energy's Oak Ridge facilities and many related topics — nuclear weapons, nuclear waste and other things nuclear, environmental cleanup and science of all sorts. Atomic City Underground is, first and foremost, a news blog, but there's room for analysis, opinion and random thoughts that have no place else to go.