Radioactive road trip: Car stopped at Serbian border found to be carrying dangerous lightning rod

The head of a nuclear lightning rod was discovered in a car crossing the Serbian border from Croatia after the car was discovered to be emitting ‘serious’ levels of radiation. Photo credit: Vasyatka1 / Wikimedia Commons

THE Bezdan border crossing on the Serbian-Croatian border was the site of a concerning incident on Saturday, March 6. Three Croatians were arrested after scanners detected a “serious amount” of radiation emanating from their Audi car.

Border officials searched the vehicle, finding the head of a radioactive lightning rod in the boot of the car along with a device used to measure metal composition.

Officials did not give any further information about the specific radioactive material found, but said that they had ordered border patrol officers at the crossing to discard their clothing and receive a medical check-up.

Nuclear waste disposal experts from the Serbian Vinca Nuclear Research Institute said that the rod has been moved to a secure location.

Radioactive lightning rods have been installed in hundreds of sites worldwide according to the International Atomic Energy Agency as it was believed that they would reduce the risk of lightning strikes hitting other targets. However, the agency reported in 2022 that there is no evidence to prove this belief.

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