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Properly Shielded, Except When It's Not: Nuclear Waste Truck Stolen Tip of Radioactive Iceberg

by Abby Zimet

Here's the terrifying punchline about that truck in Mexico hauling "extremely dangerous" radioactive waste that was (likely cluelessly) stolen: It's far from the first time, or the last. Each year, the UN watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency records between 40 and 100 cases of theft, loss or illegal possession - depending on your source and definition - of nuclear material held in buildings sometimes guarded by as little as a hapless watchman, leading the IAEA to call this latest drive-by theft at a Mexican gas station the "tip of the iceberg."
"This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper, or a bang resulting from an idiotic mistake." - T.S. Eliot, paraphrased.


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