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Mexico issues alert after theft of small amount of radioactive material

Mexican authorities have issued an alert for local officials to be on the lookout for a tiny amount of stolen radioactive material.

The Interior Department says a pickup truck carrying the iridium was stolen and later found.

But the pen-point-sized radioactive material has not been recovered.

It is enclosed in a casing about the size of a pen, used in an industrial inspection device.

The operations chief for the National Nuclear Security Commission says the device, if opened, could cause harm.

Mardonio Jimenez said the Iridium-192 has a relatively short half-life.

It is the third theft of radioactive material in Mexico since December. The December theft of cobalt-60 used in radiation therapy was considered more serious.