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Iran Loses Nuclear Device, Sparks GCC Worry

Bushehr nuclear reactor Iran

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is concerned over a missing radioactive device from Iran’s Bushehr nuclear reactor, Saudi-owned Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat reported on Thursday.

Aside from the security concerns, at the forefront in the GCC’s mind is what impact the radioactive device—wherever it may be today—could have on water supplies.

According to the newspaper, the device went missing after the car transporting it was stolen. Thankfully, the vehicle was recovered, but the radioactive nuclear device was not so lucky.

The GCC has contacted the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) over the incident—both organizations are concerned that Iran’s nuclear program may pollute the waters in the Gulf, Asharq al-Awsat quoted GCC Emergency Management Center chairman, Adnan al-Tamimi, as saying.

Most members of the GCC – which includes Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman – desalinate sea water from the Gulf. If contamination from the device were to reach desalination stations, an already critical situation becomes even more critical.

The missing device is set to lose half of its power after 74 days of inactivity, Tamimi said, noting that it still should be handled with care even after that period.

Speaking to Asharq al-Awsat, the Arab official criticized Iran’s low security and safety levels at the Bushehr reactor, adding that the lack of Iranian transparency about its nuclear program adds further concerns and anxiousness for the Arab Gulf states.

Related: OPEC Cancels Meeting With Non-OPEC Players, Dooming Oil Prices

Iran’s nuclear program has recently entered the spotlight again after Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election. In March of this year, Trump said in a speech addressing the American Israel Public Affairs Committee:

“My number-one priority is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran.”

If Trump were willing and able to deliver on that promise by tearing up the deal, Iran would once again impact the oil market, dragging down Iran’s oil exports from the near-pre-sanctions levels it has almost reached in recent months.

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly in favor of extending the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) from 1996 through December 31, 2026. The act—adopted long before the most recent international sanctions against Tehran—was aimed at punishing investments in the Iranian energy industry and deterring the country from pursuing the development of nuclear weapons.

Last week’s bill to extend the ISA after its expiry next month still needs Senate approval and President Obama’s signature to become law.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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  • EBB on November 28 2016 said:
    The half life of 74 days would indicate the material in question is Iridium-192. Iridium-192 is commonly used as a gamma ray source in industrial radiography to locate flaws in metal parts.
  • Greg on November 28 2016 said:
    Hillary deleted it with a "cloth or something"!
  • davdi on November 28 2016 said:
    Sounds like Iran has broken the agreement again by letting a nuclear device be stolen so it could be used in a terrorist attack. Can someone in the present administration open their minds just a little and see how shammed they were over this deal?
  • Rico on November 28 2016 said:
    Great reporting. Hey a couple questions pop to mind. What is device and what is it used for? What radionuclides and quantity are we talking about?
  • John on November 28 2016 said:
    I bet it's in the same place that the rest of hillary's emails are.
  • Marine_Core_Soldier on November 28 2016 said:
    They are telling them it loses power after 74 days because they don't want them to be able to sell it. Or they could just be stupid. Irridium 192 has a half life if 74 days. It is primarily use in dirty bomb production so I guess the terrorists got it. Good luck using it before getting found since it emits gamma and can be tracked easily.
  • Adam Baum on November 28 2016 said:
    Barry.
  • Elere on November 28 2016 said:
    I thing Iran is so proud of her security apparatus to an extent of calling "death to America and Israel" as if even fly cannot pass by the Nuclear site without being detected. What a bunch of idiots. This is an indication that even if they are left to make the bomb it could be stone from there. this is a shame to Ayatollahs and the IRCG.
  • Looneytoonsindville on November 28 2016 said:
    This radioactive device is likely an Iridium 192 radiography camera. No biggie!
  • tk on November 28 2016 said:
    Don't worry we will send Obama after Jan 20th to fix it. He did such a bang up job here.
  • Ashley Robinson on November 28 2016 said:
    Why would the reporter inform the thieves that after 74 days this device loses half of it's power? These morons may have kept it for a year or two waiting to put it in the perfect spot (Rome, Israel, Washington, New York, Super Bowl, World Cup, Olympics) at the perfect time.

    Why would you give them this information? Even if you edit the info out of the article now they probably have already read it.

    This was not thought out very well. Hopefully this story is false.

    SMH!!!
  • Not Disclosed on November 27 2016 said:
    Iridium-192 (symbol 192Ir) is a radioactive isotope of iridium, with a half-life of 73.83 days. ... Iridium-192 is commonly used as a gamma ray source in industrial radiography to locate flaws in metal components. It is also used in radiotherapy as a radiation source, in particular in brachytherapy.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isotopes_of_iridium
  • X tech on November 27 2016 said:
    It-192 sources are transported all over the US every day with no security. As are cobalt sources which are much stronger with a longer half life. The only reason it would need to be in a nuc facility is for inspection or calibration. I have used them all over the Midwest construction sites for years.
  • doug on November 27 2016 said:
    The sickening damage obama and his worthless cronies have done is beyond neglect its outright intentional sabotage. Hope his tranny wife michael drops dead with him.
  • Patrick on November 27 2016 said:
    "Thankfully, the vehicle was recovered"? Oh yes, thank God the vehicle was recovered. We were all very concerned about the vehicle.

    And then, "...but the radioactive nuclear device was not so lucky". Poor, lost little nuclear device. I was unaware a device could experience misfortune or anything else for that matter, but I guess I'm mistaken.

    By the way, how IS that Iran nuclear dealing going, Mr. B.O.?
  • This Way to the Egress on November 27 2016 said:
    You give circus animal a sharp object to play with, eventually someone is gonna get hurt...
  • call2 on November 27 2016 said:
    GULF? Have you been to school? dont you? Its PERSIAN GULF. Please, Do not change historical names. Thank you.
  • Mike Hambuchen on November 27 2016 said:
    Check with the UBER lost and found department.
  • JustAnotherAnimal on November 27 2016 said:
    Ah......Ir-192. Nice.
  • Uncle Al on November 27 2016 said:
    It's an Ir-192 radiography source, half-life 74 days, 0.31, 0.47, and 0.60 MeV gamma rays, typically 550 - 600 curies out the door. It is immensely dangerous. A year alter you still have 24 curies, 24 g radium equivalent. Anybody handling it outside its shielded containment will die. Lifting the front shield is a death beam.

    How big is the boojum? Typically 2.7 mm diameter by 0.15 mm thick . Drop it anywhere and it's invisible - like in a suicide belt if you are quick about it.
  • realityanvil on November 27 2016 said:
    @van pelt:
    I searched as well but failed to see Iridium. Your material sounds much more plausible than the Iranians having any interest in cosmology, other than sporadic attempts to contact the Klingons...
  • YGBSM on November 27 2016 said:
    OK, based on the cited half-life, we have an Iridium 192 gamma emitter. This thing is highly radioactive.

    It was being moved from point A to point B in a car.

    And the car was stolen, with the emitter in it.

    And there were NO security guards to keep it safe and secure?

    I'm sorry. I learned, a long time ago, that Iranians ARE NOT THAT STUPID. not the ones who are in charge of those facilities. They do think that everyone else *IS* that stupid, so this is the kind of cover story they'd put out, and expect everyone else to believe it.

    The good news is that the half-life imposes a very limited window of opportunity for them to use the device, for whatever purpose they intend. If I were guessing, I'd say that someone intends to use it for its intended purpose, nondestructive material testing, but they REALLY don't want anyone in the West knowing what they are inspecting, so they REALLY don't want anyone to know about them moving it to wherever. Hence the story about it being "stolen".
  • realityanvil on November 27 2016 said:
    I read a few posts, and all seem to miss the point. One doesn't "activate" or "deactivate" radioactive material. Radioactive material has the infamous Half Life about which we all (presumably) had to learn in high school physics. That Half Life is a finite value, and little can be done to alter it. Though boron control rods may be inserted into a radioactive mass to absorb radioactivity in a nuclear reactor, for example, the fuel itself remains radioactive.
    The radioactive element closest in half life to the time span reported above is Cobalt 56 which has a half life of 77 days. Possibly the material was a few days old when reported stolen, which would account for the reduced number of days in the article. Cobalt 56 has little real practical value other than research. Its presence in space is an indicator of a supernova.
    Don't stay awake worrying about this, it's likely that if the material was being transported in a car, it's a small-enough amount to be fairly innocuous to a large population, and will become increasingly so as time passes.
  • Old EE on November 27 2016 said:
    Possibly Iridium 192.
  • HangTough on November 27 2016 said:
    It is simple:

    Under NO circumstances can islamofascists EVER have a nuclear weapon.

    President O'shiite (born to a shiite father hence by sharia law he is a muslim) has been kissing the islamofascists rear ends from day one. This 'deal' he made will live in infamy.

    The islamofascists will never stop until the world is either 100% there brand of islam or ruled by them entirely subjugating the rest of us. B.O. has made them a super power. Thank God our great country just repudiated all that he stands for.
  • What Me Worry on November 27 2016 said:
    Ir - 192 is used for taking x-rays of welds in pipes and in medicine to treat cancer by brachytherapy. They are solid. They will not contaminate water supply. They will cause radiation burns if you are nearby an unsheilded source. If you blow it up its going to stay in chunks. If you want to try and smuggle it, it is going to be very heavy as the container most likely is lead or depleted uranium. Yes they use uranium as a shield for more highly radioactive sources. USA is very prepared for this.
  • cleo48 on November 27 2016 said:
    Oh, it'll turn up... in the worst possible location. Both Kerry and Obama will not be available for comment.
  • Joe2 on November 27 2016 said:
    Why don't they just say Iridium 192 was stolen? And say how many grams were stolen? The risk is very low.
    Unfortunately this is a click bait story with no details
  • Doug Robinson on November 27 2016 said:
    Giveme A Break, I lived and worked with them for 2 years back in the 1970's, as an advisor to the Imperial Iranian Air Force. To answer your question, yes, they are morons. Ever notice the pictures you see on the news of the people in the white uniforms sitting at the controls in a control room of a so called Iranian Nuclear Facility? Ever notice that they are wearing face masks? Stupid.....Control Rooms are "safe" spaces, they don't need the masks. Camel drivers have no place in a modern high-tech world. As we used to say when we watched them try to do technical things, "2000 years of tradition, unhampered by progress".
  • Bruce1369 on November 27 2016 said:
    My, how convenient!
    Radioactive materials "stolen" from us! Oh, the horror!

    We weren't responsible for that dirty bomb...
  • Frank Worley on November 27 2016 said:
    What exactly is the device? You mention it several times without actually saying what it is...
  • Scotty Gunn on November 27 2016 said:
    "Device" -what exactly is a "device"? Set to deactivate after 74 days? What in heck is this thing? Not very specific, are they?
    Thanks Obama for letting Iran go ahead with their program.
  • Juan Martinez on November 27 2016 said:
    The device is probably with Hillary 's server.
  • SouthCountryMom on November 27 2016 said:
    Sounds like an inside job to me.
  • Questioner on November 27 2016 said:
    "Thankfully, the vehicle was recovered, but the radioactive nuclear device was not so lucky." Really? Did somebody actually write that? Unless it was the writer's personal vehicle, I see little to be thankful about.
  • Philabias on November 27 2016 said:
    $100 says it was not stolen, it will be used by iranian terrorists very shortly!
  • ChicagoThunder1 on November 27 2016 said:
    The creation of plausible deniability they are not morons they think we are.
  • Rex on November 27 2016 said:
    One less Hugo on the streets. Thank God.
  • Bucky on November 27 2016 said:
    So, what type of peaceful use of nuclear power requires a "device". What does this peaceful "device" do?
  • bill on November 27 2016 said:
    Or how about "hey alqaida, we have this thing you could use for a dirty bomb but we can't just give it to you so we can play the game with that idiot Obama. It is parked on a back street in an unlocked car. Hope you are successful". Your friends in Iran.
  • Jersey Prophet on November 27 2016 said:
    The bill to renew Iranian sanctions needs President Trump's signature. The Muslim president won't sign his Iran Sellout's evisceration.
  • UrDaddie on November 27 2016 said:
    Sounds like an inside job. Probably stolen and sold or given to the revolutionary guard to make a dirty bomb.
  • Michele on November 27 2016 said:
    Check with the North Koreans.
  • TroyGale on November 27 2016 said:
    I'm sure Obama doesn't have a care in the world, nor does Kerry, because as you know, Global Warming is the most critical problem facing us. Yeah right...
  • UhHuh on November 27 2016 said:
    This was no accident. That sucker is headed here to the US, I'd bet 100-1.
  • nbdynprtcular on November 27 2016 said:
    Thankfully the vehicle was recovered? I think that is the object of LEAST worry in this case.
  • anthony on November 27 2016 said:
    Thankfully the car was found? Really, that is the big relief? Who the hell wrote this story? I don't give a crap about the car, what I care about is apparently the dirty bomb that was sitting in the trunk, now likely in the hands of terrorists, I just hope they use it on their own country, then it would be a win/win for the world. Bet odumbdumb hasn't even heard about this issue, we all know he doesn't like his daily threat brief to have any bad news in it, if he bothers to read it in the first place.
  • Zeeman on November 27 2016 said:
    DIDN'T THEY EVER HEAR OF UBER?
  • D D RED on November 27 2016 said:
    This very scenario is why Iran can not be trusted. What happens now or in future if that part or one like it coincidently shows up in a U S reservoir or U S territory.

    Iran is the worlds largest backer, advisor, financer and supplier to world wide TERRORISM groups as of Nov. 27, 2016. Most favored, those that oppose the U S interests. Turkey and Iran Have so much to gain in Syria's proxy combatants.
    The Russians and we Americans have so much at stake

    And a G%d D^%N piece of Hot Radioactive Material goes frigging conveniently missing from a frigging stolen car in IRAN.
  • Alex Tafarrodi on November 27 2016 said:
    No, the moron is the author of this story, just copying Saudi propaganda and never even bothering to call the Iranians.
  • Mike Van Pelt on November 27 2016 said:
    A quick search -- half-life 74 days matches indium 192, "commonly used as a gamma ray source in industrial radiography to locate flaws in metal components" according to Wikipedia.

    Whether that's it nor not, a half-life that short sounds like something used for radiography, not for nuclear devices. It could be a pretty horrible "dirty bomb" component, though.
  • Joe on November 26 2016 said:
    Anyone who believes it was lost in a stolen car should contact me, I have a great price for you on a bridge for sale in Brooklyn, NY.

    The sale proceeds will go towards an independent effort to bomb iran's nuclear facilities and the offices of the mullahs.
  • Ray Davies on November 26 2016 said:
    What exactly is a nuclear device?
  • Giveme A Break on November 26 2016 said:
    Iran put it in a car to be transported??? And the car was stolen??? Seriously... are these guys morons?
  • Joe on November 26 2016 said:
    Did anyone check John Kerrys house ?

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