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Pakistan raises concern over theft of radioactive material in India

Spokesman of Foreign Office here on Monday said Pakistan had noted with serious concern yet another report of theft and illicit sale of radioactive material in India.

He was responding to media queries regarding another report of theft and illegal possession of radioactive material in India.

The Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated, “We have noted with serious concern yet another report of theft and illicit sale of radioactive material in India. In the latest incident, as per media reports, two persons were arrested for illegal possession of Californium which is a highly radioactive and toxic substance.”

“It is a matter of grave concern for the international community that an extremely rare Sealed Radioactive Source (SRS) material like Californium could be stolen. As in the previous cases, the arrested individuals apparently got hold of the radioactive material by purchasing it from inside India.”

This is the third such occurrence in India in the last four months. Earlier media reports had highlighted separate seizures in May and June 2021 of over 7 kg and more than 6 kg of Uranium from unauthorized persons in India,” he added.

He said these repeated incidents raise serious concerns about the safety and security of nuclear and other radioactive materials in India, and the possible existence of a black market for such materials inside the country.

“It also indicates the lax arrangements inside India to secure imported SRS material. Pakistan reiterates its call for a thorough investigation and adequate measures to prevent their recurrence.”

According to the Economic Times of India, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of West Bengal seized radioactive element Californium, worth Rs 4,250 crore, from two persons in Kolkata airport area last Thursday.

Acting on a tip off, the CID seized four pieces of ash-coloured stones, weighing about 250.5 grams, from the two. The radio-active element was found engraved inside the stones.

Californium is a radioactive element and a very good source of neutrons and this property makes it useful in a nuclear power plant. Californium, named after California University, is a radio metallic chemical element.


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