UNCLAS VILNIUS 000247
FOR STATE ISN/WMDT AND PM/ISO/PMAT
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KNNP MNUC PARM KCRM PTER ASEC KCOR PINR LH
SUBJECT: RADIATION ALARM SOUNDS AT LITHUANIAN BORDER WITH
A) HOYT -RYAN TELECON 5/5/09
B) RYAN - HOYT EMAIL 5/5/09
Â¶1. At opening of business May 5, Post learned via media report that
a radiation alarm was set off by a cargo train at the border of
Lithuania and the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad on May 1 (see para
2). The Lithuanian State Border Guard Service (SBGS) posted
information identical to the media report on its website.
Â¶2. Begin media report text: Lithuanian border guards have denied
entry to a train car hauling cargo of radioactive ore chemicals.
The stopped cargo was bound for Russia from the country's
Kaliningrad enclave. Border guards of Lithuania's southern Lazdijai
Frontier District on Saturday ran a check on an incoming freight
train, the State Border Security Service said in a statement. One
of its cars was found to contain zirconium ore and sodium
triphosphate, with the cargo's final destination being a ceramics
factory in Volgograd of southern Russia.
Â¶3. Using specialized equipment, officers determined the cargo to be
emitting at the top of the train car an excessive radiation field.
The radiation monitoring equipment revealed a field of 100
micro-roentgen per hour, while the permitted norm is 20.
Â¶4. Border guards have informed the Radiation Protection Center of
the radioactive cargo. The train car with the increased radiation
field was denied entry in Lithuania, meaning the car had to be
detached from the train and sent back to Kaliningrad first thing on
Monday. End media report text.
Â¶5. We spoke to the Director of the Radiation Protection Center
Albinas Mastauskas by phone May 5. Mastauskas said the cargo
contained zirconium ore and sodium triphosphate and was not properly
documented by Russian regulatory agencies. He explained that if
this cargo has been properly documented, then the SBGS could have
processed the shipment through to its intended destination. We are
following up with local authorities to gather additional
information. We don't know if the GOL notified the Department of
Energy about this event as may have been required.