Police in Malaysia are searching for an industrial device that holds radioactive material after it disappeared this month.
While being transported near the capital of Kuala Lumpur on August 10, the radiography device went missing out the back of a pick-up truck.
Worth nearly $20,000, the 50-pound device is said to contain iridium-192, a radioactive isotope that could be used in the creation of a dirty bomb.
Mazlan Mansor, the local police chief, confirmed to reporters that an investigation was currently underway.
“Yes, there is a report and we are investigating,” Mansor said.
Azis Jamman, the deputy home minister, has since attempted to relieve concerns over the missing device.
“There is nothing to be worried about at this moment,” Jamman told reporters.
Although police initially detained the two technicians who were transporting the device, the employees were eventually released and cleared of wrongdoing.
Radioactive materials regularly go missing across the globe.
Earlier this year it was revealed how plutonium, radioactive cesium and numerous radiation detectors were stolen from Texas in March 2017.
The items were stolen out of a vehicle after two employees from the Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory stopped at a hotel while transporting the materials.
According to the Center for Public Integrity, who first reported on the disappearance, as much as one pound of plutonium and 45 pounds of high-enriched uranium loaned by the U.S. military to different research groups has gone missing.
“Unlike civilian stocks, which are closely monitored by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and openly regulated—with reports of thefts or disappearances sent to an international agency in Vienna—military stocks tended by the Department of Energy are much less transparent,” the CPI says.
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