The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says that a truck in Mexico carrying an extremely radioactive payload has been stolen. This theft calls into question the security of radioactive materials in our neighbor to the south.
Now, before we start wondering if Mexico is working on building a nuclear arsenal, the radioactive substance cobalt-60 is typically used for radiation therapy of cancer patients. According to the IAEA, the truck was stolen on its way to deliver the substance to a waste storage facility.
According to NBCNews.com being considered “highly dangerous,” and was being carried in a 2.5 ton Volkswagen truck, with an integrated crane. The theft occurred on Monday, in the Mexican town of Tepojaco, outside Mexico City.
While the material is not the Uranium-235 that is used for nuclear power and weapons, experts say that cobalt-60 could be used to make a “dirty bomb,” which would disperse radioactive fallout. This poses a very frightening prospect for those in possession of the material now.
Are the cartels planning on making dirty bombs? Or, as an IAEA spokesperson suggested, the thieves may have targeted the truck without knowing what was inside. We’re hoping it’s the latter.