Missing Dangerous Source at Salamanca, Guanajuato, Mexico.

Print View Posted on: 30 March 2023

Event Date: 22 March 2023 Event Type: Radiation Source
Event Location: Mexico, Salamanca, Guanajuato, Mexico INES Rating: 1 (Final)

On March 22, 2023 at approximately 11:00 a.m. (UTC-6), the theft of four industrial radiography devices with the following characteristics was reported to the CNSNS offices:

1. Brand: AEA Technology, model: DELTA 880, Serial No. D2810, which houses a radioactive source of Ir-192 with serial number 083H with a current activity of 7.61 Ci.
2. Brand: QSA Global Inc, model DELTA 880, Serial No. D5824, which houses a radioactive source of Ir-192 with serial number 370G with a current activity of 0.11 Ci.
3. Brand: Source Production & Equipment Co, Model: SPEC-150, Serial No. 2173, which houses a radioactive source of Ir-192 with serial number C0052 with a current activity of 35.64 Ci.
4. Brand: Industrial Nuclear Co., model IR100, serial No. 4829, which houses a radioactive source of Ir-192 with serial number TT3561 with a current activity of 1.14 Ci.

The theft took place on March 22, 2023 at approximately 3:00 a.m. (UTC-6), when armed persons entered the licensee’s facility located in Pánfilo Nájera 205, Col. Lázaro Cardenas, Salamanca, Guanajuato, Mexico. They extracted the four sources and a van.

On Tuesday March the 28th, 2023 at approximately 17:30 (UTC-6), The devices were found near to Salamanca Guanajuato due to an anonymous call. The devices were verified by the licensee and all radiological risk was discarded. The devices were recovered and returned to the licensee who took them to its facility. Search for the perpetrators is underway.

On Wednesday March the 29th 2023, a group of inspectors of the Regulatory Authority was sent to Salamanca, Guanajuato in order to verify that the devices were safe and the licensee facility had fixed and improved the security systems. At approximately 17:33 (UTC-6), the inspectors had given their approval to the new security measures placed in the facility.

The actions taken were: a) The theft has been reported to the law enforcement agencies; b) The National Regulatory body has notified the National Civil Protection Agency; c) Search for the missing industrial radiography devices is underway; d) A search team of the Regulatory Authority has been dispatched to the site in order to help and advice the responders; e) The Regulatory Authority personnel gave theoretical training to local first responders on radiological issues; f) The Licensee filed a legal complaint with the Prosecutor´s Office; g) The devices have been recovered. Radiological risk has been discarded and, e) The regulatory authority has inspected the improved security measures of the facility and found them satisfactory.

INES Rating: 1 - Anomaly (Final) as per 30 March 2023
Release beyond authorized limits? No
Overexposure of a member of the public? No
Overexposure of a worker? No

Contamination spread within the facility? No
Damage to radiological barriers (incl. fuel damage) within the facility? No

Degradation of Defence In-Depth Yes

Person injured physically or casualty? No
Is there a continuing problem? No

Victor Gonzalez
Comision Nacional de Seguridad Nuclear y Salvaguardias

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