Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Radioactive Sources dumping in scrapyards?

Until now many people may not heared about ‘Mayapuri’, but now this Delhi market is all over the news for the wrong reason - radio active poisoning. In simple words a radio active source of active Cobalt 60 resulted in the death of one person and poisoning of seven people along with the contamination of the place.

The radio active sources were later recovered from a scrap store in the Bazaar. The source was later traced back to Delhi University’s Chemistry department. The irony of fact is that the source material - a lab instrument purchased from a Canadian company in 1968 for the chemistry department of the University was lying idle for the last one and half decade - was auctioned off by the University with out removing the radio active source!!! The person who bought this so called scrap dismantled the iron part and sold the remaining to another one - which contains the radio active Cobalt 60.

If this is happening in a prestigious university in the case of radio active resources then we can imagine what will happen in other places considering the fact that hundreds of radio active sources are distributed across the country.

The story doesnt stop here. According to the reports, "a number of ‘sealed sources' containing radioactive waste are turning up in scrap yards; U.S. Customs regulators in 2007 rejected several metal article shipments from India because they were found to be contaminated with radioactive material; and Germany, France, and Sweden have detected cobalt-60 in Indian steel". What it means? Are we using this radio active sources casually and dumping in scrap yards?

This incident reveals the necessity for an increased safety level of these materials. Instruments which contain radioactive materials should not be allowed to enter in the scrap market. Given the safety aspect of these sources, which will lead to severe radio active poisoning and other problems if exposed, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board and the institutions which use these materials - Hospitals, industries, research institutions,
universities etc - should upgrade the safety and tracking of these materials. Please no more auctions of radio active materials to scrap dealers.


1 comment:

  1. I am agree with your views and I hope authorities will take necessary step in this regard sothat,this type of accident will not take place in future.