Illicit Trafficking of Radioactive Materials in Ivano-Frankivsk Region

On Wednesday, 5 August 2015, the Security Service of Ukraine conducted counterintelligence activities to detain a criminal group in Vorokhta village of Ivano-Frankivsk region near the Vorokhta-Verkhovynna road.


In compliance with Cabinet Resolution No. 813 dated 2 June 2003 “On Approval of Procedure for Interaction of Executive Authorities and Legal Entities in Nuclear Energy in Detecting Illicit Trafficking of Radioactive Materials”, representatives of the SNRIU Western State Nuclear and Radiation Safety Inspectorate, Administration of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine in Ivano-Frankivsk Region and Ivano-Frankivsk Regional Laboratory Center of the State Health and Epidemiological Service of Ukraine visited the scene and performed radiological survey of the suspicious item. By the time the abovementioned services arrived, the Security Service of Ukraine preliminary identified and marked boundaries of the monitored area by a warning tape, which were later confirmed by experts.

The SNRIU radiological survey showed that the detected item was a radiological material emitting beta particles and gamma rays. The item was of complex shape, representing a metal ball 10 cm in diameter with a sectorial cut of one-third volume, a blind hole, and a longitudinal narrow slit at the center. Two 2-cm high cylindrical formations are placed at diametrically opposite ends of the ball coaxially with the slit. Digital marking is applied near one of them. The exposure dose rate (beta+gamma) at a 10 cm distance from the item was from 120 to 173 µSv/h depending on relative position of the dosimeter and radioactive item. At a 2 m distance from the suspicious item, the exposure dose rate decreased to the background level (0.1 µSv/h).

Based on the radiological survey, representatives of the SNRIU, State Emergency Service of Ukraine and State Health and Epidemiological Service of Ukraine drafted and submitted their conclusions on the main radiological parameters at the scene to the Vorokhta village head. The conclusions exclude the possibility of external and internal exposure of personnel and population if the monitored area is preserved. It was recommended that the detected radioactive item was transported for interim storage to the Lviv Specialized Plant of Radon Association. It is advised that experts of the Nuclear Research Institute, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, are involved in further review of the suspicious material. According to review results, the SNRIU shall inform on the composition of the material found in illicit trafficking.

SNRIU website