Foreign Office urges international community to take notice, noting such incidents suggest lax arrangements from Delhi to secure radioactive material
Pakistan’s Foreign Office on Monday expressed “serious concerns” over the safety and security of nuclear and other radioactive materials in India, noting recent reports suggested the presence of a black market for such resources within the country.
Last week, Indian authorities recovered four mineral-like rocks weighing 250g, which reportedly were samples of the radioactive material Californium. This was the third such instance of seizure of stolen radioactive material in India over the past four months; in May over 7kg of uranium were recovered, while in June over 6kg were likewise recovered.
“We have noted with serious concern yet another report of theft and illicit sale of radioactive material in India,” read the Foreign Office statement. “In the latest incident, as per media reports, two persons were arrested for illegal possession of Californium, which is a highly radioactive and toxic substance,” it added.
“It is a matter of grave concern for the international community that an extremely rare Sealed Radioactive Source (SRS) material like Californium could be stolen. As in the previous cases, the arrested individuals apparently got hold of the radioactive material by purchasing it from inside India,” it said, noting this was the third such occurrence in the past four months.
“These repeated incidents raise serious concerns about the safety and security of nuclear and other radioactive materials in India, and the possible existence of a black market for such materials inside the country,” it warned, stressing that it also indicated lax arrangements inside India to secure imported SRS material.
“Pakistan reiterates its call for a thorough investigation and adequate measures to prevent their recurrence,” it added.