Radioactive load missing in Midwest

| 8/7/2002

According to a story in the Detroit Free Press, federal agents and teams of nuclear specialists are canvassing the Midwest for a mysterious shipment of radioactive material that was trucked across the Canadian border through the Detroit area in May. Newly installed sensors at the border were not fully operational at the time.

Government inspectors reportedly were not aware of the material until early June, about a week after it crossed the border. Only after sensor recordings were examined days later was the radioactive material noted.

The U.S. Energy Department reportedly has sent members of its nuclear emergency support teams to search for the material across Michigan and the northern Midwest. The teams use portable devices to test areas for radioactivity.

The Free Press reported White House officials were quick to point out last week that the material could be legitimate medical or construction supplies, or the sensor could have given a false positive reading. But the White House Office of Homeland Security said it is taking the report seriously.