A truck carrying radioactive waste has been stolen in a small town near Mexico City, Mexico according to the IAEA.
The International Atomic Energy Agency says the truck was carrying cobalt-60, used for radiotherapy treatment to combat cancer. An IAEA statement Wednesday said the truck was stolen Monday while taking the material to a radioactive waste storage center from the northern city of Tijuana.
It says the heist occurred in Tepojaco, a town near Mexico City, and describes the load as `’extremely dangerous” if damaged or removed from its protective shielding.
The IAEA says isotope cobalt-60 can’t be used for a standard nuclear weapon, but could be utilized for a so-called “dirty bomb” spreading dangerous radioactive materials over a wide populous.
“At the time the truck was stolen, the source was properly shielded. However, the source could be extremely dangerous to a person if removed from the shielding, or if it was damaged,” the IAEA warned.