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NNSA Partners With Russia to Recover Material That Could Be Used in Dirty Bombs

The Department of Energy's (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), in partnership with the Russian Federation, has successfully completed the removal of 14 Russian radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) from the Northern Sea Route. These devices, which contain high-activity radioactive sources, powered navigational beacons along Russia's northern coastline. With this removal, the Department has completed its efforts to recover RTGs along the Northern Sea Route.

RTGs were used for many years in Russia to generate electrical power at remote locations, including lighthouses and navigational beacons. The 14 RTGs the Department recently recovered contain more than one million curies of Strontium-90, a high-activity radioisotope that could be used in a dirty bomb.

Over the past decade, the Department's Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI) has recovered 482 RTGs throughout Russia, including locations in the Far East, the Baltic Sea region, the Northern Sea Route and non-coastal sites. As a result of these efforts by GTRI, more than 20 million curies of radioactive material have been permanently secured.

For more information visit nnsa.energy.gov


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