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Georgia Finds 'Forgotten' Plutonium

Georgian scientists discovered unused, radioactive plutonium-beryllium that had been “forgotten” for 42 years at a laboratory in Tbilisi, Giorgi Nabakhtiani, nuclear and radioactive specialist at Georgia’s Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources, said Saturday.

The plutonium-beryllium was found in a “special container stored in wax and lead, which was quite safe and presented no danger for the environment,” Nabakhtiani said, adding that “the substance has now been removed and stored at a special unit.”

Though plutonium-beryllium may be used to create a so-called dirty bomb, there was not enough of the substance at the Tbilisi lab to do so, Nabakhtiani said. The material “was likely forgotten for several decades after it was brought to the laboratory for a special test,” he said.

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