# [ RadSafe ] [EXTERNAL] Re: Stolen cobalt-60 found in Mexico; curious thi...

JPreisig at aol.com JPreisig at aol.com
Fri Dec 6 11:48:57 CST 2013

```Hmmmmm,

I can make hand calculations and use my old copy  of the Rad Health
Handbook also.  But it all doesn't mean squat unless one  can figure out how
long the thieves stayed in the vicinity of the exposed Co-60  source.  Have
the thieves checked into local hospitals or have they gone  home to die???
Was puke found in the vicinity of the exposed  source???  (Sorry, I couldn't
think of a nice word for puke...).

Someone with a working copy of MCNP might be able to  compute actual
doses from the source.  I suspect one could get the source  manufacturer
schematics of the source geometry (unexposed and exposed)  somewhere.  Have fun!!!

Joe Preisig

In a message dated 12/5/2013 5:33:23 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
DThompson3 at ameren.com writes:

Wow.  Not to pick on Joe specifically, but there have been  several posts
with quite a bit of "shooting from the hip" on dose rates from  sources.

I have a Radiological Health Handbook (USDHEW-1970) book at my  desk,
well-worn with ratty tabs.

On Page 131, it says the Gamma  Constant for Co-60 is 1.32 R/Hr - Ci @ 1
meter.

So. for 90 Ci Cobalt 60  source, you have ~120 R/Hr.  For 3000 Ci, you have
~4,000 R/Hr.   This is at one meter.  So, at a foot, those would be about 9
times  that....... 90 Ci = ~ 1100 R/hr, while 3000 Ci = ~36,000 R/hr.

If you  use the old 6CEN approach, for a 90 Ci source that is 6 x 90 x 1.25
x 2 =  ~1350 R/hr (at a foot).   For 3000 Ci, that is ~45,000 R/HR.
Reasonable correlation.

I have a Shleien (1992) as well (it is NOT well  worn nor is it tabbed).
It has gamma ray dose constants on page 167, but  they are in MBq and
Sieverts.  I'm a happy dinosaur with Rem and Curies,  so I didn't do any
calculations.........

Grin.

Dewey

-----Original  Message-----
[mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Joe Nardi
Sent:  Thursday, December 05, 2013 3:14 PM
To: The International Radiation  Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ]  [EXTERNAL] Re: Stolen cobalt-60 found in Mexico;
curious thieves likely  doomed

Much of what is being discussed is still speculation since it is  not
really known how long the unit has decayed.  If it 30 years then only  about 3%
of the original activity will remain.  If the original activity  is 3,000 Ci
then the remaining source would only be about 90 Ci and it would  only be a
category 2 shipment.  The US rules for category 2 would not  require real
time tracking of the vehicle but only package tracking so you  would know that
it had not arrive at the next point at the expected  time.  I would say
that for this incident there was early knowledge that  something had happened
and that is the best one could expect within the US  regulations for a
category 2 source.

It is not  clear to me that  the persons involved are "doomed" but I would
rather tell the news media that  and see if the individuals involved are
scared and seek help.  At 90 Ci  the source would only be reading about 21
R/min at 1 foot so it is not likely  that they would have received a fatal dose.
But as I said this is all  speculation.  I am going to be interested to
read the detailed accounts  of this incident.

A. Joseph Nardi

-----Original  Message-----
[mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Wasiolek,  Maryla
Sent: Thursday, December 05, 2013 3:30 PM
To: The International  Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ]  [EXTERNAL] Re: Stolen cobalt-60 found in Mexico;
curious thieves likely  doomed

In the USA it would be unlikely for a truck with Category 1  quantity of
radioactive material to have gone missing. See 10 CFR 37.79,  Requirements for
physical protection of category 1 and category 2 quantities  of radioactive
material during  shipment.

M.  Wasiolek

-----Original Message-----
[mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Perle,  Sandy
Sent: Thursday, December 05, 2013 12:47 PM
To: The International  Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List
Subject: [EXTERNAL] Re:  [ RadSafe ] Stolen cobalt-60 found in Mexico;
curious thieves likely  doomed

Hello John,

I would not presume that this kind of  incident or others would not happen
here in the USA or any other country.  Things do happen and we have seen
those things happen in the past. I would  never state that there is no
potential for a source to be unattended. For  instance, there are numerous notices
where department of transportation  sources are stolen from government
vehicles.

Regards,

Sandy
Sent from my iPhone

> On  Dec 5, 2013, at 11:42 AM, "Joel.Love" <Joel.Love at carle.com>  wrote:
>
> Why would it not happen here?  The driver(s) were  held up at gun-point.
Now, I do all I can to protect my hospital from  incidents but I'm not sure
I wouldn't hand over all my less than 1 Ci of I-125  to someone with a gun
in my nose.
>
> Joe Love Radiation Safety  Officer
> joel.love at carle.com
>
>
> -----Original  Message-----
>  [mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of
>  JOHN.RICH at sargentlundy.com
> Sent: Thursday, December 05, 2013 1:35  PM
> To: The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics)  Mailing
> List
>  Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Stolen cobalt-60 found in Mexico; curious
>  thieves likely doomed
>
> I tuned in to this one  late, but if it hasn't already been discussed, we
need to be prepared to tell  the media why it won't happen here.  It would
seem that a shipment like  this would not be left unattended so that theft
is "highly unlikely".   Not trying to start a new thread, but I haven't
enough experience in source  shipment to be able to explain how we prevent this
kind of  theft.
>
> So, a short paragraph would be much appreciated Thx in  advance  - -jmr
>
> John Rich
>  312-269-3768
>
>
>
> From:    JPreisig at aol.com
> Date:   12/05/2013 01:28  PM
> Subject:        Re: [ RadSafe ] Stolen  cobalt-60 found in Mexico; curious
> thieves likely doomed
> Sent  by:         radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu
>
>
>
>  Hmmmm,
>
>      So, what's the deal ---> these  Co-60  thiefs couldn't read the
warnings on the Cobalt source???  Ouch.
> They actually exposed the source --- how unfortunate.  I  guess if they
> are
>
> lucky they will check into a local  Hospital with gastrointestinal
radiation  syndrome or worse.  I  guess they walked away from the scene of the
crime.
>
> The  various forms of radiation sickness are described, I think, in  Eric
>
>    Joe  Preisig
>
>
>
>
>
>
> In a message  dated 12/5/2013 2:09:34 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
jim.hardeman at gmail.com  writes:
>
> Oops --  unit error. I meant ~700 R/min. Sorry  about that.
>
> Jim
>
>
>> On  Thu, Dec  5, 2013 at 1:56 PM, <roseb at gdls.com> wrote:
>>
>>  Jim:
>>
>> Your math is a bit off, the specific gamma-ray  constant  for Co-60 is
> 1.37
>> R/hr @ 1 m.  The  exposure rate from a 3,000 Ci  Co-60 source would be
>  much
>> higher than 700 rad/h at 1 ft (~0.33   m).
>>
>> Henry
>>
>> Boyd H. Rose, CM,  CIH, CHMM,  EI
>> Sr. Safety and Environmental Engineering  Specialist  Corporate
>> Radiation Safety Officer General  Dynamics Land  Systems
>> Mail Zone  436-10-75
>> Sterling  Heights , MI 48310-3269
>> Tel:  586 825 4503
>> Fax: 586 825  4015
>> E-mail:   roseb at gdls.com
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>  Jim Hardeman  <jim.hardeman at gmail.com> Sent by:
>> 12/05/2013 01:47 PM
>> "The International Radiation Protection  \(Health Physics\)  Mailing
> List"
>>
>>
>>  To
>> "The  International Radiation Protection (Health Physics)  Mailing List"
>>  cc
>>
>> Subject
>> Re: [ RadSafe ] Stolen  cobalt-60 found in Mexico; curious thieves
> likely
>>  doomed
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>  Doomed? Probably so. If I did my math right, they would have been
>  looking
>> at ~700 rad/h at a foot.
>>
>> The  question is, will  medical personnel be able to make a proper
>  diagnosis
>> of  ARS?
>>
>> Jim Hardeman --  retired :-)
>> Decatur, GA
>>  jim.hardeman at gmail.com
>>
>>
>>
>>> On  Thu, Dec 5, 2013 at  1:24 PM, Boing, Lawrence E.  <lboing at anl.gov>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> That's  what I read somewhere yesterday as well ....3,000  Curies....
>>>
>>> L Boing
>>>  lboing at anl.gov
>>>
>>>
>>> -----Original  Message-----
>>> From:  radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu  [mailto:
>>> radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of  Lemieux, Bryan P
>>> Sent: Thursday, December 05, 2013 12:10  PM
>>> To: The  International Radiation Protection (Health  Physics) Mailing
> List
>>> Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Stolen  cobalt-60 found in Mexico; curious
>> thieves
>>> likely  doomed
>>>
>>>
>>> On Dec 5, 2013 11:39 AM, "Estabrooks,  H  Bates (IHK)" <
>>> estabrookshb at y12.doe.gov>  wrote:
>>> Has anyone revealed/published the activity of the  source?
>>>
>>> Bates Estabrooks
>>> Y-12  NSC
>>>
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>  From:  radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu [mailto:
>>>  radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Harrison - CDPHE,
>  Tony
>>> Sent: Thursday, December 05, 2013 11:31  AM
>>>  Subject: [ RadSafe ] Stolen cobalt-60  found in Mexico; curious
>  thieves
>>> likely doomed
>>>
>>> MEXICO  CITY - The carjackers who set off international alarm   bells
> likely
>>>  no idea what they were stealing  and will probably die soon  from
>> exposure,
>>> Mexican  authorities said at  the end of a brief national scare...
>>>
>>> The  cobalt-60 was found, removed from its casing, in a rural area
>  near
>> the
>>> town of Hueypoxtla about 25 miles from  where the  truck was stolen.
>> Jimenez
>>>  suspected that curiosity got  the better of the thieves and they
>  opened
>> the
>>> box. So far  the carjackers have  not been arrested, but authorities
>> expect
>>> they  will not live long.
>  http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/stolen-cobalt-60-found-in-mexico-c
>  urious-thieves-likely-doomed/2013/12/05/262ef990-5d66-11e3-8d24-31c016
>  b976b2_st
>
>  ory.html?hpid=z1
>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>  Tony Harrison, MSPH
>>>
>>>
>>> Laboratory Services  Division
>>>
>>> Colorado Department of Public Health  and Environment
>>>
>>> 8100 Lowry  Blvd.
>>>
>>> Denver, CO   80230
>>>
>>> 303-692-3046 |
>>  tony.harrison at state.co.us____________________________________________
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