3 Arrested In Ukraine For Trying To Sell Plutonium

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine's security service says it has arrested a regional lawmaker and two companions for trying to sell radioactive plutonium for $10 million.

A ring of weapons-grade electrorefined plutonium-239, with 99.96% purity. This 5.3 kg ring is enough plutonium for use in an efficient nuclear weapon.

The service says the legislator and two businessmen from the western Ternopyl region were detained last week in possession of a suspected 3.7 kilograms (8.2 ponds) of plutonium-239, which can be used to make a so-called dirty bomb.

Such a bomb spreads radioactive material over a wide area.

The service said in a statement Tuesday it believes the material was produced in Russia during the Soviet era and smuggled into Ukraine through a neighboring country.

Ukraine renounced nuclear weapons after the Soviet Union's collapse.

Source: AP

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