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Building 134
P.O. Box 5000
Upton, NY 11973-5000
phone 631 344-2345
fax 631 344-3368

managed for the U.S. Department of Energy
by Brookhaven Science Associates, a company
founded by Stony Brook University and Battelle

News Release

Released: October 3, 2003
Contact: Mona S. Rowe, 631 344-5056

Statement on Theft of Copper At Brookhaven
National Laboratory

At the request of the U.S. Department of Energy and Brookhaven Science Associates, the FBI is conducting an investigation into the theft of copper materials from Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Brookhaven’s own inventory check during the month of September revealed that 100 reels of used copper cable, 2,000 cable connectors, and 200 pounds of copper blocks were missing and presumed stolen. The total value of this loss, if the materials were to be resold, is estimated to be $86,000.

The copper blocks and about 200 of the missing copper connectors contain trace amounts of radioactive cobalt-60, embedded in the copper. Contact with this material for eight hours would result in a dose of less than five percent of what an individual receives each day from natural sources of radiation.

The copper had been used in the Alternating Gradient Synchrotron, a particle accelerator at Brookhaven Lab where researchers do physics experiments. The materials were temporarily stored in enclosed areas near the accelerator for later reuse.