Little-known U.S. agency hunts down radioactive castoffs

Please read article, cited after the quote. Articles open in a new window.
The potential toll of a dirty bomb using abandoned nuclear material justifies recovery team’s cost, government says.
By Richard C. Paddock
March 3, 2009

Reporting from Sunnyvale — The four-man government disposal team arrived Monday from Los Alamos, N.M., to take away the small canister of plutonium. Weighing just 1.3 grams, the plutonium-238 isotope had been owned by a Silicon Valley company for nearly 30 years and was stored safely in a 10-foot hole in the ground.

But in the wrong hands, federal officials say, the highly radioactive isotope could pose a serious threat to public safety and conceivably provide terrorists with material for a dirty bomb.

http://www.latimes.com/new

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