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Three irradiators containing radioactive sources is repatriated to the United States from Mexico aboard an Air Force C-17. National Nuclear Security Administration photo.

An Air Force C-17 Globemaster III recently recovered three large, radioactive vessels from Mexico as part of the National Nuclear Security Administration's radiological security program, NNSA announced. "This work is a reflection of our shared threat reduction and nuclear security goals," said Anne Harrington, NNSA deputy nuclear nonproliferation administrator, in the July 28 release. The irradiator units were used in Mexico to destroy cattle parasites over the past 30 years and contained more than a large amount of highly radioactive US-supplied Cesium-137 isotope, according to the release. Since the material could ostensibly be used by terrorists to construct a radiological "dirty bomb," the units were packaged for airlift back to the US, where they were then transshipped​ by road to a secure storage facility, officials noted.