Customs service seizes depleted uranium in Russia region

Justin justin-cypherpunks at soze.net
Sat Jan 29 04:59:28 PST 2005


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   Customs service seizes depleted uranium in Russia region

   28.01.2005, 13.28

   MOSCOW, January 28 (Itar-Tass) - The customs service in a Volga region
   has seized more than 37 kilograms of depleted uranium.

   A spokesman at the Federal Customs Service told Itar-Tass on Friday
   that workers of the Orenburg customs service spotted the dangerous
   cargo on Wednesday during examination of a car with a radiation
   detector.

   The radiation-emitting object was a cylindrical protective container
   intended for remote manipulation with radioactive substances.

   It contained 37.5 kilograms of uranium-238, which is a depleted form.

   An owner of the container described it in a customs declaration as a
   "dumb-bell". He said he had found it at a dump and used it for
   exercise and sometimes straightened nails with it.

   Specialists are looking for the origin of the container.

   A criminal case on an attempt of contraband of a radioactive substance
   has been opened.

   Specialists of the Russian Agency of Atomic Energy told Itar-Tass that
   neither a conventional nor "dirty" bomb could be made from the
   confiscated amount of uranium.

   Uranium-238 is one of the most available elements in the earth crust.
   About 60,000 tonnes of uranium a year is extracted in the world.
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