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Malaysian authorities in frantic search for missing radioactive device

23 6 48

MALAYSIAN authorities are scrambling to find a radioactive device missing since Aug 10, fearing it would fall into the hands of terrorists or militants.

The 23kg radiography equipment known as the Radioactive Dispersal Device (RDD) contains the radioactive isotope Iridium- 192, which emits beta and gamma radiation as it decays. According to local daily New Straits Times, the compound could be used to make a “dirty bomb”, which, if detonated would spread radioactive material over a wide area.

Apart from the threat of terrorists, the police and the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) also fear members of the public could be in danger if the US$18,500 device is dismantled and sold as scrap metal.

The daily’s report said the radioactive device belonged to a company that provides inspection, calibration, and test services to the oil and gas industry and power plants, among others.


© Asian Correspondent