Feature

Garage sale

The week's news at a glance.

Zmeinogorsk, Russia

A Russian atomic scientist this week turned in 400 grams of weapons-grade plutonium that he had been storing in his garage for the past eight years. Leonid Grigorov had read about the Russian government’s new buyback program for radioactive materials, and expected to get $8.25 per milligram, for a total of $3,300,000. Instead, he was arrested for illegal storage of nuclear substances. Grigorov said that when the enrichment plant where he worked was closed in 1992, he asked authorities to dispose of the radioactive material but received no reply. So he put the plutonium in a lead container and stuck it in the garage. “As an expert, I was simply obliged to do this to prevent anything bad from happening,” Grigorov said.

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