Russia Seizes Radioactive Metals From Tehran-Bound Passenger

Posted by Layla Mars

According to reports, each year there are approximately 600 to 800 seizures of radioactive substances in Russia. These are predominately seizures of contaminated materials or items that weren’t properly declared. Though the radioactive material is claimed to be intended for medical use, it does raise suspicions regarding why the material was not declared properly.

From Business Week:


Dec. 16 (Bloomberg) — Russian customs officials at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport stopped an Iranian citizen who was trying to board a flight to Tehran with luggage containing a radioactive substance used for medical purposes.

Customs officers found “18 industrially produced metal items individually wrapped in steel containers” in the passenger’s luggage, the Federal Customs Service said on its website earlier today. Sodium-22 doesn’t occur naturally and must be produced in cyclotron facilities, according to the customs service.

It ‘Raises Flags.’

Iran denies accusations by the U.S. and its European allies that its civilian nuclear program is a cover for building warheads, saying the activity is needed to produce electricity. Russia built Iran’s first nuclear power station, located in the southern port city of Bushehr, which started generating electricity in September.

It begs the question, if this amount of radioactive material is failing to go out of Russia, then how much actually makes it?

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