MOSCOW) — Russia's customs agency says it has seized radioactive metal from the luggage of a passenger bound for Tehran.
The Federal Customs Service said in a statement that its agents found 18 pieces of metal Friday at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport after a radiation alert went on. It says the gauges showed that normal radiation levels were exceeded by 20 times. (See pictures of Russia celebrating Victory Day.)
The customs agency said prosecutors have launched a probe into the incident.
The Interfax news agency says the pieces contained Sodium-22, a radioactive isotope of sodium that could only be produced at a nuclear reactor.
Sodium-22 is a positron-emitting isotope with a remarkably long half-life.
Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2102660,00.html#ixzz1gk5h5ZGP
Wow, scary stuff huh? Radio active, Iran, investigation, prosecutors, seized, remarkable properties, high radiation levels, alerts,. Cant be good! Someone smuggling a nuclear bomb to Iran?
In reality a (medical) student was "caught" carrying samples of sodium-22, which is used all the time for medical imaging and calibrating instruments. It has no military use whatsoever, you can find it in any large hospital (and Iran is perfectly capable and allowed under the NPT to produce it. Its produced in cyclotrons btw, not in nuclear reactors.)
This is even less news worthy than a student being caught trying to board a plane with a box of cereals. But boxes of cereal do not help beat the drums of war I suppose.