Truck Carrying Radioactive Material Stolen In Mexico

A truck carrying radioactive material that could potentially be used to make bombs was stolen in Mexico Monday.
Posted at 1:04 PM, Dec 04, 2013

The International Atomic Energy Agency is looking for a truck that was stolen in Mexico Monday. That truck was carrying "extremely dangerous" radioactive material. 

The radioactive material, held in this container, is called cobalt-60 and is mostly used to treat cancer. The truck was taking it from a hospital waste storage center to be decommissioned — a 1,700-mile journey. (Via NBC)

"The truck was stolen at a gas station just 35 miles outside of Mexico City. … But even though the theft occurred hundreds of miles from the U.S. border, there's a reason why the incident is drawing such intense scrutiny." (Via CTV)

The material could potentially be used to create a so-called "dirty bomb," an issue that was raised by the IAEA last year. 

"A dirty bomb detonated in a major city could cause mass panic, as well as serious economic and environmental consequences." (Via CNN)

However, the casing used to store the material is of a "high mechanical resistance," which will hopefully keep it contained. But authorities have noted they don't think the thieves knew what they took at the time of the robbery. (Via ABC)

"When you think of Mexico, you think of crime, and what do you think of? You think of drug cartels. … But the area around Mexico City where this truck was stolen was not one of these areas. So that's really interesting to me." (Via BBC)

Mexico's nuclear safety group, the CNSNS, has issued a pubic alert while it searches for the Volkswagen truck, which is also equipped with a crane.