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When University loses weapons-grade plutonium

 article about plutonium gone missing
It's one of those one of a kind stories. According to news agencies, Idaho State University was fined $8,500 for losing track of a small amount of plutonium 239 (one of the three main isotopes demonstrated usable as fuel in thermal spectrum nuclear reactors).

The sample has been missing since 2003 though, according to statement from University officials, and does not pose any threat to anyone.

Before the sample went missing, the plutonium was used by school for some experiments. The sample that went missing weighed one gram.

It is believed the plutonium was transferred to a licensed disposal facility, but unfortunately there are no records to prove it.

"Unfortunately, because there was a lack of sufficient historical records to demonstrate the disposal pathway employed in 2003, the source in question had to be listed as missing," Dr. Cornelis Van der Schyf, vice president for research at the university, said.

According to a regulatory commission, while the amount of plutonium is too small to make a nuclear bomb, it could be enough for a dirty bomb.


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