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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, April 04, 2013 10:29 am

Isotope seized in Georgia too small for dirty bomb

The Associated Press

Three men are under arrest in Georgia on charges of illegally possessing a radioactive isotope that can be used in a dirty bomb, but authorities say they didn't have enough to make one of the devices.

Police say the three Georgians were holding Americium-241. That is one of the substances widely seen as a possible component in explosive devices aimed at spreading radioactive particles that would kill or sicken people.

Grigol Basilia, the energy ministry's top official for security issues, on Thursday declined to say how much of the isotope was seized, but said it was "not enough to build a so-called dirty bomb."