UPDATE: Radioactive Shipment Heading For Eaton Rapids Recovered
UPDATE: The material in question has been recovered. A statement that was originally made has been updated here.
There's no indication at all of nefarious activity. But when the federal Nuclear Regulatory Agency issues a “Current Event Notification Report", some of us sit up in our chairs a bit. It’s one way of saying some radioactive stuff is missing. A shipment of low-level radioactive material went missing while being shipped to Eaton Rapids – barely 30 miles northeast of Battle Creek. The stuff was shipped out of a small town in Ohio. Back on July 12th. So it’s been out there somewhere for some time. An Ohio state agency that monitors dangerous cargo shipments informed the federal NRC this week.
The low-level radioactive shipment was being moved between two offices of Prime NDT Services. Upon contact yesterday afternoon by WBCK, a company executive declined to offer initial comments. But said an update would be forthcoming. So far nothing. The company is headquartered in Ohio. Its primary work involves industrial testing of equipment used in the energy field among others. That includes things like pipelines and pumping equipment.
The missing radioactive material involved in the shipment is identified as
iridium-192. The very fact that it is radioactive and the government finds it important enough to issue a report that its missing points to the seriousness of the issue.
Unprotected exposure can be dangerous and lead to permanent injuries based on all kinds of variables including the length of time of potential exposure.
What may be the most unsettling aspect of all, is this type of material could be used to fabricate a dirty bomb. Not a typical high explosive nuclear weapon. Instead, one intended to spread radioactive material over a wide area to create long-lasting contamination and widespread health issues for people who are exposed.
But to be clear, there are no indications anything criminal is going on. Sometimes things being shipped don't end up where intended. Let's hope this particular shipment is located quickly.
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