Nuclear weapon material worth $72mn seized in a car in Turkey

Turkish police have taken 5 individuals in custody over the smuggling of a highly-radioactive substance used to construct nuclear weapons and energy nuclear reactors. The 18.1 gram haul was discovered in a car.

Police found a vial of the precious material after they pulled over a car in the northwestern Bolu province. The substance, believed to be californium, was discovered stashed underneath the gear shifter wrapped in a bag. Officers had to chop the upholstery to get to the parcel, which is estimated to be worth $72 million.

Five suspects have been detained in the raid, and the combination was taken to the Turkish Atomic Energy Agency (TAEK) for a detailed evaluation.

Californium is known as after the place the place it was synthesized again in 1950 – a laboratory on the University of California. Apart from getting used to manufacture nukes and nuclear-powered reactors, the aspect additionally has a vary of quite innocuous civilian purposes. It may be a a part of metallic detectors and used in most cancers therapy in addition to oil, silver and gold mining operations. Still, the substance is very harmful and its manufacturing, distribution and transportation is restricted. Currently, solely the US and Russia synthesize the isotope.

It is just not the primary time the Turkish police reported about a main bust involving californium.

In a scare in March final yr, police in Ankara said it had seized a whopping 1.4kg of the identical substance in a car following a tip-off. That time, although, it turned out to be false alarm, because the haul was later discovered to don’t have any hint of nuclear or radioactive material, and was, in truth, natural matter.