Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

News Stolen radioactive material found.

  1. Dec 5, 2013 #1

    nsaspook

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    These guys made a stupid and 'fatal' mistake.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world...2ef990-5d66-11e3-8d24-31c016b976b2_story.html

     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 5, 2013 #2

    lisab

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Wow. I almost feel sorry for these guys. Instant Karma's gonna get you...
     
  4. Dec 5, 2013 #3

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Darwin awards all around.
     
  5. Dec 5, 2013 #4
  6. Dec 6, 2013 #5

    Borek

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I seem to remember similar situation. Somewhere in the early eighties (or at least I think it was about that time) some guy in Poland have stolen some radioactive source and went home using a public transport (and these were crowded up at the time), with the source in his pocket.
     
  7. Dec 6, 2013 #6

    nsaspook

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    It made me think of this:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  8. Dec 6, 2013 #7

    jtbell

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I read this morning that the amount of cobalt-60 was about 1.5 oz (about 40g). I figure its activity is about 40000 curies. Compare that to the tiny encapsulated cobalt-60 sources that are typically used in an undergraduate modern physics lab, which are 1 to 5 microcuries (and don't involve any major safety precautions).
     
  9. Dec 6, 2013 #8

    nsaspook

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Looks like they are being treated.
    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/police-block-mexico-hospital-6-may-have-radiation [Broken]

    Talk about karma
    http://binaryapi.ap.org/011863a3625f496f8f4f7654d04f2810/460x.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  10. Dec 6, 2013 #9

    dlgoff

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Off topic, but I was once prohibited from re-entering a lab until the next day after setting off radiation detectors from having Technetium-99m in my blood.
     
  11. Dec 7, 2013 #10
    Sounds like the current suspects have only minor discomfort and no sign of radiation poisoning. Where is everyone getting this fatal prognosis from?
     
  12. Dec 7, 2013 #11

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Sensationalism. No one could possibly know how big of a dose they got.
     
  13. Dec 7, 2013 #12

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I figured it was meant to scare them.
     
  14. Dec 11, 2013 #13

    DrDu

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    From what I understood, the thieves removed the Co-60 from the shielding. In other sources, it is stated that some near-by residents pulled the equipment (still containing the source?) to their homes nearby by car and also got some radiation.
    I fear to get an accurate description, we have to await the IAEA report.
    At least nothing as tragic as Goiania:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goiânia_accident
     
  15. Dec 13, 2013 #14

    DrDu

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    So a mason carried the source to his home on his shoulders and has now radiation burnings and sickness.
    He only attended a physician some days after and was the first time being sent home as he didn't mention having manipulated a radioactive source (which he probably didn't know himself).
    As he apparently has carried a source of several thousand Ci for several kilometers on his shoulders I have strong doubts that he will survive.

    Another family pulled the heavy shielding home by car.

    So probably the robbers did remove the source from the shielding but then were clever enough to leave it back.
     
  16. Dec 13, 2013 #15
    So does anyone know if they actually caught the robbers?

    Also it really upsets me that these counties have access to these materials, when clearly their governments are too incompetent to control them properly.
     
  17. Dec 13, 2013 #16

    DrDu

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Yes, the five robbers were arrested after they showed up in a hospital but showed no signs of radiation sickness.

    We just had a major catastrophes in Japan and Russia and the US contaminated the whole planet with it's nuclear test program.
    Compared to that, what happened in Mexico is rather harmless.
    What I wonder: These devices have warnings all over. Is analphabetism still so widespread in rural Mexico?
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Stolen radioactive material found.
  1. 2000 Election Stolen (Replies: 28)

Loading...