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Texas A&M University locates missing radioactive material

By Amy R. Connolly
Texas A&M University locates missing radioactive material
A protected nuclear specialist measures radioactivity near a barrel containing hazardous material with a geiger counter. A package containing radioactive material had gone missing en route to Texas A&M University, but was found Tuesday. Photo by zlikovec/Shutterstock

COLLEGE STATION, Texas, Sept. 1 (UPI) -- Texas A&M University said it found a missing Federal Express package containing radioactive materials in a storage area Tuesday afternoon, a day after school officials said it had not made it to its final destination at the school.

University spokesman Shane Hinckley said it was "found in one of our secure hazardous material storage facilities."

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"The package was unopened, undamaged and in its original shipping condition. The package is safe for transportation and storage, and the community was never in any danger," he said in a written statement.

KBTX reported Monday a shipment left the Science Engineering & Education Co. in the Minneapolis area via Fed Ex. Someone signed for the package in August, but it never reached the school's Radiation Safety Office.

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"The package is said to be a medium-sized cardboard box, each side 20 inches in length and weighing about 27 pounds," the news organization reported.

Texas A&M officials released a statement Monday:

"Texas A&M University has been working with Federal Express to locate a missing package that was shipped to -- but we are confident was not received by -- the Texas A&M Radiation Safety Office containing a radioactive source used for research purposes. We obviously want to locate this package as quickly as possible because it does contain radioactive material, but we hasten to add it doesn't present a health threat to the community provided the contents, which are secured in a box with two layers of inner containment, are not disturbed. This sealed package, like many others, are routinely sent via Federal Express from companies that specialize in providing sensitive shipments to universities and other entities. This matter has been reported to all appropriate federal and state regulatory agencies. If anyone has any information that could help us locate this package please contact the Environmental Health and Safety Office immediately (979) 845-2132"

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