2 arrested with suspected radioactive material Californium near Kolkata airport – Hindustan Times

Kolkata News

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) arrested two persons from near the NSCBI airport near Kolkata with around 250 grams of suspected Californium, a synthetic radioactive material that is often used in nuclear reactors.

Acting on a tip-off, CID officers arrested Sailan Karmakar, 41, and Asit Ghosh, 49, both residents of Hooghly district in West Bengal on Wednesday.

“Four ash-coloured stones weighing around 250 grams were seized from the accused. Preliminary enquiry revealed that it could be Californium. They were trying to sell it for a few lakh rupees,” said an officer.

CID officials said the samples would be sent to a government laboratory to verify whether they were Californium, a gram of which may cost up to a few crore rupees.

“The accused persons have said they got the material from Kerala and brought here to sell. We are verifying all statements,” said the officer.

Officers said the seized stones sparkled and seemed to be loaded with minerals. Californium is not found in nature and was first produced in a laboratory at University of California, Berkeley, in 1950 by US scientists. The metal is silvery white and is soft.

It has a variety of uses, including in the start-up of nuclear reactors, and is used to detect gold and silver in ores.


Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/kolkata-news/2-arrested-with-suspected-radioactive-material-californium-near-kolkata-airport-101629972442351.html