No not that yummy dessert but uranium found at pawn shop. From today's Orlando Sentinel-
BELLEVIEW -- Every blue moon or so, collectibles dealer and pawnshop owner Frank Cafaro stumbles upon a buried gem amid an estate's junk and tchotchkes.I don't know why Saddam Hussein needed to get uranium from Niger. He could have just gone to a Central Florida pawn shop and visited Disney World while he was at it.(Cue the sarcastic laughter)
But his latest find was so alarming he called the Fire Department.
"We were in the warehouse and we pulled out this box of rocks from an estate sale," Cafaro said.
"Everything was individually labeled. Amethyst. Topaz. Uranium. The guy I'm working with says, 'What's that last one? Uranium? I think that's illegal.' "
Within an hour, the Gold Mine Pawn was swarming Thursday with nearly three dozen emergency workers, including Geiger-counter-waving members of a hazardous materials team and the Marion County Sheriff's Office Domestic Security Task Force.
They focused their attention on a lead container the size of a soup can.
Labeled with radioactive markings, the container protected a glass vial that held about an ounce of yellowcake uranium, a processed mineral that, in larger quantities, can be used to make fuel for nuclear reactors or enriched for weapons.
In 2003, President Bush justified the decision to invade Iraq by citing a now-discredited intelligence report that claimed Saddam Hussein had tried to buy tons of yellowcake, presumably to manufacture weapons of mass destruction.
The mineral, which Cafaro traced to an estate sale in Miami about 10 years ago, was turned over to the Florida Department of Health's Bureau of Radiation Control for disposal, said Susan Livoti, spokeswoman for the Sheriff's Office.
Yellowcake, also known as uranium oxide, is far from being a weapons-grade material, said Talat Rahman, chairman of the physics department at the University of Central Florida.
She said it does not pose a serious threat in small quantities.
"Yellowcake by itself is not dangerous," Rahman said, adding that it's not radioactive.
"It has to be processed to be converted into something dangerous."
FDLE spokeswoman Sharon Gogerty said small amounts of yellowcake are reported to the agency "on a regular basis" and are not considered especially dangerous.
"A lot of times, it seems to turn up in scrap yards," she said.
By the way, the Bush comment in an otherwise local story, isn't out of left field in my opinion. The general public that know of yellowcake, probably only know because of the pre-Iraq war controversy.
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