November 26th, 2010
01:21 AM ET

FedEx searching for missing radioactive package

FedEx could learn Friday what happened to a package containing radioactive materials that went missing a day before.

The company said it is searching in the Tennessee area and that the item is safe as long as nobody tampers with the protective packaging around it.

The item is a cylinder containing rods used for hospital machinery that were being sent to a person in Knoxville, Tennessee, said Sandra Munoz, a company spokeswoman.

"The rods are used for quality control calibration," Munoz said. "We have lots of experience in handling this kind of shipment."

Munoz said the company may learn more Friday morning when two employees who handled the shipment return to work.

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Filed under: Tennessee
soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. DaVuVuZe1a

    Ya know, I've sent plenty of radioactive materials via USPS. Each one of my packages has always been delivered on time and they've never lost any of them.

    November 26, 2010 at 4:40 am | Report abuse |
    • tyrone

      Guess what, FEDEX SHIPS FOR USPS!!!!! Thats why they are not lost!!!!

      November 26, 2010 at 5:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Shawn

      USPS is Fedex's biggest customer

      November 26, 2010 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jeff Frank

    What? This company could'nt furnish thier own insured and bonded couriers to secure a reasonably harmless radioactive shipment. Radium 226? Americium 241? I am sure, judging by the medical appication, the calibration process does not call for "weapons grade plutonium 246"! I bet the wrong hands probably are somebody (a moron no doubt), running around trying to impress someone with a shipping case with radioactive shipping symbols all over it.

    November 26, 2010 at 4:46 am | Report abuse |
  3. goat

    wow, shouldn't this be government mandated? Do we really allow non-trained people to handle radioactive material?

    Also, wait for them to come back to work? Isn't this a call-you-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night-to-get-your-ass-at-work kind of a situation? I would fire them for mishandling such a dangerous package.

    November 26, 2010 at 5:40 am | Report abuse |
    • AGeek

      "such a dangerous package" You must have inside information. I read no such detail of the material itself, or the packaging, in the original article. Therefore, only someone with inside information could determine the relative safety or danger posed by the package.

      November 26, 2010 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  4. fedex

    actually the shipper should of had the common sense to go threw the dangerous goods desk at fedex who are Trained in handeling this type of material not the small package/home delivery.

    November 26, 2010 at 6:22 am | Report abuse |
    • FedEx retiree

      If FedEx handles hazardous material, ALL employees should be trained to handle this type of package and receive the pay to do it. But thats too expensive and cost unproductive.
      The problem with FedEx training is it has to be done on a 1986 computer and takes forever to complete.
      Management only cares about getting the packages out of the building anyway they can. If your not trained, Oh well.
      If you think FedEx gives a damn, just go to any local station and check out the hazardous material holding area. (If you can find it). Where I use to work it was used to store unused pallets and empty boxes.

      November 26, 2010 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  5. Dromelet

    We stopped using FedEx years ago because we are in an area where they use private contractors (Home Delivery) and it always added at least a week to the delivery date. Plus we had to go chasing after them when they missed the house and wound up on the military bombing range up the street.

    November 26, 2010 at 6:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Huh?

      FedEx Ground only uses contractors while FedEx Express uses employees. I'm surprised to hear about your delays. Ground has been super fast for me considering its not being flown through the air...

      November 26, 2010 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
  6. charles

    this is funny n a way of the millions of packages they ship each day what r the odds that 1 of the few pack. they ship that could cause nat. news go missing. Anybody ever heard of Murphy.LOL. There having a bad hair day. I would'nt want 2 b there public relations officer.

    November 26, 2010 at 6:53 am | Report abuse |
  7. ira (sisi) fox

    GOD BLESS THEM THEY WERE IN A HURRY TO GET HOME YET THEY ALSO SHOULD HAVE DID THE RIGHT THING & BEEN SAFE WITH WHAT THEY WERE DOING JUST SLOW DOWN A NOTCH TO GET THEIR JOB DONE CORRECTLY

    November 26, 2010 at 7:01 am | Report abuse |
  8. EASYWIND

    No big deal, not sure why this is a news article. I would guess that thousands of pieces of radioactive material are transported daily by domestic carriers. The type of isotope and exposure from it dictate what can and can't be delivered by the carriers. A one microcurie calibration source of Cs137 isn't exactly a national emergency.

    November 26, 2010 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |
  9. Terry - Indiana

    This story is totally "Too much arm waving about nothing". First, there are thousands of medically related shipments that involve radioactive materials annually. Yes, the package was lost, however they will track it down. I question if the shipper filed the proper paperwork to announce the product in the package. I question "if" or "who" signed for the package, which is again a requirement. All in all, the story is nothing more than a fill piece that was not well thought out prior to posting the story.

    November 26, 2010 at 7:37 am | Report abuse |
  10. kc_and_fa

    Any check ebay?

    November 26, 2010 at 7:44 am | Report abuse |
  11. Daniela

    Can we call the employees on the phone? Surely something can be done prior to "Monday". I don't care if the employees are "non exempt"...this is an emergency and should not be delayed. I must be missing something here?????

    November 26, 2010 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
  12. No information

    Do they even know the amount of material missing?

    November 26, 2010 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
    • rugbymom

      Yes, the shipper, FedEx, and the authorities do know exactly what was shipped - a small amount (sounds like maybe a couple of vials like they use to draw blood) of radioisotopes for use in hospital machines like the ones for radiation therapy, well-packaged so no radiation is leaking out. These are routine shipments. That's what the article indicates. I suspect they are declining to give out more information publicly so as to not tempt anyone who may know the package's whereabouts. Would you advertise the fact that a missing package contained a one-of-a-kind Tiffany necklace, and show a picture of it? I don't think so.

      November 26, 2010 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  13. Dadsnorz

    "We'll find out more when the two employees return to work"...?
    Hey, you two standing at the timeclock, yeah the ones that are glowing...go ahead and clock in, we need to talk....

    November 26, 2010 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  14. Waytogo

    The sky is falling. The sky is falling. These rods are either cobalt or gadolinium and they are not high energy radiation. We use them for QC on PET/CT or SPECT/CT scanners. The fact CNN is reporting this says there are no real stories today to scare the public with, so we will make one up.

    November 26, 2010 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
  15. Waytogo

    And you are an idiot.

    November 26, 2010 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
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