[ RadSafe ] China Contains 15 Sources of Radiation in Quake Area

Perle, Sandy sperle at mirion.com
Fri May 23 22:32:29 CDT 2008

China Contains 15 Sources of Radiation in Quake Area 

PENGZHOU, China -  Emergency crews worked Friday to secure 15 sources of
radiation buried in the rubble of China's devastating earthquake, the
government said as it evacuated thousands of survivors downstream from
rivers dammed by landslides.

Officials precariously balanced their efforts to clean up and rebuild
with attempts to house, feed and treat the displaced and injured and
search for survivors.

One senior official said China faces "a daunting challenge" to prevent
environmental contamination from other sources.

There has been no leak of radioactive substances into the environment,
Wu Xiaoqing, China's vice minister for environmental protection, told
reporters in Beijing.

He said 50 sources of radiation were buried by debris from the massive
earthquake in central China, 35 of which had been secured. The rest lay
buried or located but unreachable under collapsed buildings. He gave no
specifics about the radiation sources.

The number of unsecured sources was far higher than the two the
government reported earlier this week. Foreign experts say the
radioactive sources likely came from materials used in hospitals,
factories or in research, not for weapons.

U.S. State Department spokesman Tom Casey told reporters that Washington
was not aware of any threat to humans, "but, obviously, it is a

He added that many of the locations were remote and the U.S. was relying
for much of its information on the Chinese government.

Wu cautioned that a number of other "hidden" sources of pollution are
likely to be encountered as workers begin digging into the rubble, which
includes numerous factories and refineries.

The worst-hit areas in Sichuan province include many high-risk
petrochemical and chemical companies, he said. Around three-fourths of
the more than 100 chemical plants in the quake-hit area were forced to
stop production as a result of damage, he said.

No environmental damage has so far been recorded, but as factories begin
production, officials would need to vigilant to ensure chemical waste
found of produced was properly disposed of, he said.

"We now face more daunting challenges in investigating and removing
hidden troubles and carrying out environmental inspections as time
passes by and factories gradually resume production," he said.

Sander C. Perle
Mirion Technologies 
Dosimetry Services Division
2652 McGaw Avenue
Irvine, CA 92614 
+1 (949) 296-2306 (Office) 
+1 (949) 296-1144 (Fax) 

Mirion Technologies: http://www.mirion.com/ 

PROPRIETARY INFORMATION NOTICE:  This e-mail message and all attachments transmitted with it are intended solely for use by the addressee and may contain proprietary information of Mirion Technologies and/or its affiliates.  If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any review, dissemination, distribution, copying or other use of this message is strictly prohibited.  If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately by replying to the message, delete the original message and all attachments from your computer, and destroy any copies you may have made.  Thank you.

More information about the RadSafe mailing list