Deputy Home Minister: No need to panic over missing radioactive device

  • Nation
  • Monday, 20 Aug 2018

KUALA LUMPUR: There is no need for the public to panic over the 23kg Radioactive Dispersal Device (RDD) that has been missing since Aug 10, said Deputy Home Minister Datuk Azis Jamman.

He said the police are investigating the case and the situation is still under control.

"So far, everything is under control. There is nothing to be worried about at this moment," he said.

He said authorities have nabbed suspects but he could not reveal any details on the arrest.

Azis also noted that police have yet to determine the motive for the case.

"This is the first time that such a case has occurred. It just happened that there is a radioactive element when the incident took place," said Azis.

He added that the Inspector-General of Police would be making any further announcements on developments in the case.

An English daily reported that the missing device is an industrial radiography device which contains the radioactive isotope Iridium-192.

Iridium-192 emits beta and gamma radiation as it decays during its estimated half life of 73 days.

It is learnt that the device has a market value of about RM75,000.

The police and the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) are scrambling to search the missing RDD fearing that it could be used to make a dirty bomb if it falls into the wrong hands.

Authorities are also worried that the RDD could cause massive radiation exposure if it is dismantled for scrap metal.

The device belongs to a private company that offers testing, calibration and inspection services to heavy industries, including oil, gas and energy companies.

Citing sources, the report stated that the RDD was used by two of the company's technicians for a job in Seremban.

After completing their task, they reportedly loaded the 23kg device onto the back of their pickup truck and left for their office at Shah Alam at 2am.

The device was missing when they arrived an hour later.

The duo claimed they did not stop on their journey back, and feared that it could have fallen off their truck.
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