Mexico Informs IAEA of Theft of Dangerous Radioactive Source

The international radiation symbol, or trefoil, indicates hazardous radioactive material. (Graphic: IAEA)

Mexico has informed the IAEA's Incident and Emergency Centre (IEC) of the theft of a truck carrying a dangerous radioactive source used in medical treatment.

Mexico's "Comisión Nacional de Seguridad Nuclear y Salvaguardias (CNSNS)" said the truck, which was transporting the cobalt-60 teletherapy source from a hospital in the northern city of Tijuana to a radioactive waste storage centre, was stolen in Tepojaco near Mexico City at around 08:00 UTC on 2 December 2013.

At the time the truck was stolen, the source was properly shielded. However, the source could be extremely dangerous to a person if removed from the shielding, or if it was damaged.

The Mexican authorities are currently conducting a search for the source and have issued a press release to alert the public.

The IAEA has made an offer of good offices to Mexico, a process that makes the IAEA available to provide assistance if requested by a Member State, and the IEC remains in contact with the CNSNS.

Last update: 14 November 2014