Commenting on the question of how this element ended up in Turkey and for what purposes it can be used, Dr Çubukçu said:
“This substance is synthetic, meaning that it is not contained in nature in its pure form. In this regard, Californium must be produced by a reactor or an atomic particle accelerator in a country with nuclear technologies. This element is not produced in Turkey and probably got to the territory of the country from one of the nuclear powers”.
Speaking about the area of application of this element, the expert emphasised:
“Without knowing the isotope of the discovered Californium, it is difficult to say exactly for what purposes it can be used. Usually, it is used in laboratory studies in the process of radiation as a source of neutrons, as well as in reactors. Some news report about its utilisation to make a bomb but with so much Californium it’s impossible to make a bomb. This requires kilograms of this element”, he noted.
Dr Çubukçu stressed that this chemical element must be registered and under the control of the manufacturer since it is toxic, and in the case of accumulation in large quantities in the body it can cause poisoning. “Therefore, confiscation of discovered Californium is the only right decision”, he stressed.
Earlier, Timeturk, citing a statement by the governor of Bolu Province, reported that the local branch of the Anti-Smuggling and Organized Crime Department during a search of a suspicious vehicle as part of a special operation discovered 18.01g of Californium radioactive substance, which is used for the manufacture of nuclear warheads and for the operation of nuclear power plants. It is reported that the substance was sent for examination to the Turkish Atomic Energy Authority. The market value of this amount of Californium can reach up to $72 million, the newspaper noted. Turkish law enforcement authorities filed a lawsuit against five suspects.
The views expressed in this article are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.