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Nuclear weapon material worth $72mn seized in a car in Turkey

6th July 2019 - Nuclear weapon material worth $72mn seized in a car in Turkey


Turkish police have taken five people in custody over the smuggling of a highly-radioactive substance used to build nuclear weapons and power nuclear reactors. The 18.1 gram haul was found in a car.

Police discovered a vial of the valuable material after they pulled over a car in the northwestern Bolu province. The substance, believed to be californium, was found stashed under the gear shifter wrapped in a bag. Officers had to cut the upholstery to get to the parcel, which is estimated to be worth $72 million.


By weight, these substances are massively more expensive than gold, no wonder we see numerous reports of nuclear material theft.

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Quote:Currently, only the US and Russia synthesize the isotope.

Both US and Russia are signatories to the Non-Proliferation Treaty or NPT. The incident shows that other actors are getting the isotopes anyway and a market exists.
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