Theft of radioactive device in Canada cause for concern

25 February 2007: Sometime on or shortly before Tuesday, February 20, 2007, a portable radioactive nucleodensimeter was stolen from a construction site in Vaudreuil-Dorion, outside of Montreal. Weighing about 75 pounds, the specialized device is clearly labeled with radioactive warning stickers and contains radioactive material used to take soil samples and measure ground water. The radioactive substance inside, however, can be potentially dangerous if improperly exposed – or used for nefarious purposes.Second theft in the same area

This is the second time a nucleodensimeter has been stolen from the greater Montreal area. On September 23, 2002, the same type of device was stolen from an engineer’s truck while the vehicle was parked at his residence in Laval, Canada, just outside of Montreal. Based on inquiries to police officials by the Northeast Intelligence Network, that device was never recovered.

There is a growing level of concern among police officials that the radioactive material contained in these devices, in part, could be used in the construction of a “dirty bomb,” where radioactive products are mixed with explosives, thus creating a radiological dispersal device that could spread radiation over a large area.

Police and other officials are continuing their investigation and their search for the missing device.