Radioactive material stolen in Mexico. Authorities: If you find our nukes, 'don't open it'


Originally published at:





Funny, this isn’t the sort of failure mode that was spoken of when we bought the damn nukes in the first place…


Nope not me and about that Delorean I just like doing up old cars.


Radiation is good for you.


Oh God, I hope we don’t have another Goiânia Incident.


Radioactive Source =/= Nuke.

But the Goiânia post above is right on point.


Hmmm I found this:

SmartFTLab Smart GEIGER FTLAB FSG-001 Portable Radiactive Detector Color Random

I wonder how many are actually on the market and available to buy? Maybe ten thousand? You could distribute them to Mexican police.

(and they come in four colors).


After reading that, all I can say is fuuuuck.

Well, also that I’m glad to be in TJ right now, as far away from that as possible within the confines of Mexico.


Shut up, it’s important to be scared! I bet the entire hemisphere is going to explode if we don’t panic enough!


You know what would keep us safe? A wall.


Am I the only one who thinks these things look too much like Ghostbuster traps?


You shouldn’t open those either.


I want to make a MUFf joke, but I can’t think of one


In this case, there’s also this one (with the same type of source):

In February 1999 a serious radiological accident occurred in Yanango, Peru, when a welder picked up an 192Ir industrial radiography source and put it in his pocket for several hours. This action resulted in his receiving a high radiation dose that necessitated the amputation of one leg. His wife and children were also exposed, but to a much less extent. The purpose of this report is to provide an account of the circumstances of the accident and its medical aspects.


Made of lead?. You will need some profound foundations, if you are going for a lead wall high enough to stop pole-vaulters.


When I lived in Los Alamos in the 80s, I heard about a lost trucker who was carrying rebar from Mexico. He drove into a lab site and asked for directions from a security guard. When he pulled out of the checkpoint, the radiation detectors went off. The rebar had contained scrap metal made from a stolen cobalt core of an x-ray machine.

What’s chilling is what if the trucker hadn’t lost his way? Where would the rebar have gone?


Random radioactive anecdote:

Back when I worked at ANSTO’s reactor, we had a flea infestation in the animal labs. This was a big problem; flea-ridden rats can seriously mess with your data.

So, we called in the exterminators. Normally, when the pest control guys show up, they put on a bit of swagger about how they’re the experts at handling dangerous chemicals and everyone else should stand well back.

In this case, however…it took us half a day just to convince them to enter the building. People go weird as soon as they see a radiation hazard warning sign.