Nuclear Material Lost in Texas, Now Recovered — U.S. Regulator

An industrial radiography container that was reported lost in a river southeast of Fredericksburg, Texas has been recovered, according to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Operations Center.

The lost-then-found news ends fears that the material could have fallen into the hands of rioters seeking a tool to launch a domestic terror attack.

This isotope of Iridium is used in medicine to kill cancer cells, but is also a powerful poison to humans, emitting beta and gamma radiation and focally accumulating in the spleen.

Anarchist cells and rogue states use “dirty bombs” to spread radioactive material, exposing the population to radiation. Although this type of terrorist weapon will not render an area permanently uninhabitable, it would still be effective through summer.

A NRC spokesman told QMN that the material was recovered and a press release is expected to be issued next Monday.

The loss was reported to the National Commission on Nuclear Safety and Safeguards by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission after the team and the vehicle transporting the container was swept away by the current of the Pedernales River. 

The truck was recovered after a two-day aerial search, but the container of the Industrial Nuclear brand, model IR-10, which It contains a radioactive source of Ir-192 with an activity of 47 Ci was still missing.

The adjacent Mexican counties of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León and Tamaulipas had been alerted in the event that the object moved to national territory, which had been projected as unlikely, the U.S. National Coordination of Civil Protection indicated.

Similar losses were reported in England in 2013, Mexico City in 2017, and Texas in 2018. 

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