Two men have been arrested selling uranium online
In Maharashtra, two people – Jigar Pandya, 27, and Abu Tahir, 31‒ have been arrested recently by ATS (Anti-Terrorism Squad) to have 7 kg of uranium and sell it online illegally. This quantity costs about Rs 21 crore. The ATS’s fake client bought a sample that was delivered to Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC). It was proved there that it was natural uranium. After that, the two men were arrested under the Atomic Energy Act of 1962 for owning uranium without a license.
Tahir’s father runs a scrap shop in Mankhurd. It is supposed that a few years ago he bought a lorry with different factory waste. There was uranium among it, which was heavier and diverged from all other refuse. Tahir kept it and discussed selling it on the grey market with Pandya.
It is not the first incident with uranium. In 2016 two people were arrested with 8 kg depleted uranium which cost about Rs 24 crore. One of the men was a scrap dealer. The Atomic Energy Commission stated that companies using uranium in their machines have to give it back to the Atomic Energy Agencies. Instead, the whole machines with uranium are often sold to scrap.
What is uranium and what are its applications?
Uranium is an essential element as it enables generating electricity for nuclear power stations. A kilogram of uranium generates the same amount of heat as 20 tons of coal. Other synthetic transuranium elements are produced from it. It is the heaviest natural element on our planet. Uranium can be found in soil, water, and rock. It is also extracted from some minerals. Uranium is also applied in nuclear submarines and nuclear weapons.
Depleted uranium is used in medicine as a protection against radiation. It is also employed as counterweights in industrial machinery and aircraft.