Russia Says Iranian Tried to Board Flight with Radioactive Material

Scary story out of Moscow: Bloomberg is reporting that customs officials at Sheremetyevo Airport said an Iranian citizen tried to board a flight to Tehran with luggage containing radioactive material.

Russian Customs Seize Radioactive Material

According to a statement on the Russian customs website,“After a search of the baggage of one of the passengers, 18 industrial-metal items individually wrapped in steel panels were discovered.”

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The news agency notes that the statement – in Russian – goes on to say that the “materials exceeded the natural background radiation 20-fold, and the isotope could only be made in a nuclear reactor.”

Criminal Probe but No Arrests

A criminal investigation has been opened but details about the entire incident are sparse. The Associated Press is reporting that the incident occurred “some time ago” and that the passenger with the radioactive materials was not detained, though no reason is given.

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The news agency also notes that, “It was not immediately clear if the [radioactive] substance could have any use in Iran’s controversial nuclear program.”

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Published: December 16, 2011