1.  Thieves steal dangerously radioactive ampoules from Russian plant
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Thieves steal dangerously radioactive ampoules from Russian plant
BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Feb 14, 2002

Text of report in English by Russian AVN Military News Agency web site

Moscow, 14 February: Two Kripton-85 radiation sources have been stolen from the Polimerplenka [polymer film] enterprise located in the Verkhnedneprovsk village 100 km east of Smolensk, a spokesman for the Emergencies Ministry told Interfax-Military News Agency on Thursday [14 February]. "Each source contains an ampoule with radioactive gas and its emission makes 230 millicurie, which is enough for a person to get a lethal dose quickly," the spokesman said.

A ministry expert said, "the radiation level of shells with depleted uranium cores on which the global mass media reported after the NATO operation in Yugoslavia makes some 3.4 millicurie. At the same time each core surface emits some 1,000 alpha particles and 36,000 beta particles per second." According to the expert, the emission norm of three millicurie is considered safe. An even slightly heavier dose badly affects a sensible [tangible] part of the population.

The ministry reported that the prosecutor's office of Smolensk Region had launched a criminal case to investigate the theft of the sources. Specialists of the Emergencies Ministry are taking part in the search, too.

Source: AVN Military News Agency web site, Moscow, in English 0941 gmt 14 Feb 02

/BBC Monitoring/ © BBC.

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