Small amount of nuclear material stolen last year: Police

Written by on July 16, 2018

iStock/Thinkstock(SAN ANTONIO) — An instrument used to calibrate nuclear material containing a small amount of plutonium and cesium in the possession of federal experts went missing last year, according to a San Antonio police report.

According to the police report, the device and material were stolen from a car in San Antonio. The story was first reported by the Center of Public Integrity which found that the missing nuclear material was to be retrieved from a research lab in San Antonio, Texas, by two Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory security experts.

Plutonium and cesium are both radioactive materials that could be used in nuclear weapons. The amount of nuclear material that went missing, however, was insufficient to pose a threat, according to local authorities.

The Department of Energy could not immediately be reached for comment.

Officer Carlos Ortiz who was at the original scene in San Antonio told ABC News that the case was a typical “smash-and-grab” with no fingerprint left, surveillance recorded or witnesses available to help find the suspect.

There have been no additional reports related to the incident since.

Federal watchdogs have previously flagged troubles tracking lost nuclear material overseas.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



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