Russia ships 8 grams of polonium-210 abroad annually

Publish date: November 29, 2006

Russia's top nuclear official on November 28 said Russia ships 8 grams of polonium-210 abroad, but shipment to the UK was stopped in 2001, ITAR-TASS reported.

"Allegations that someone stole it during production are absolutely unfounded," said Sergei Kiriyenko, director of the nuclear agency Rosatom. "The controls are very tough."

Kiriyenko said Russia exports 8 grams of polonium-210 monthly, all of it to the United States. He said there had been no exports to Britain in five years.

Polonium-210 is highly toxic substance with 138 days half-life.