[ RadSafe ] Indian radioactive metal found in Germany

edmond0033 at comcast.net edmond0033 at comcast.net
Mon Feb 16 09:53:34 CST 2009

This could be due to Cobalt-60 and/or Cesium-137 sources be inadvertently being melted with other scrap metal.  This has happened in the USA on at various times.  At one time Cobalt-60 was aded to the furnaces to measure their thicknesses. 

Ed Baratta 

edmond0033 at comcast.net 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "ROY HERREN" <royherren2005 at yahoo.com> 
To: radsafe at radlab.nl 
Sent: Monday, February 16, 2009 4:47:28 AM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern 
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Indian radioactive metal found in Germany 


Indian radioactive metal found in Germany 
Published: 15 Feb 09 14:40 CET 
Online: http://www.thelocal.de/national/20090215-17449.html 
German authorities have discovered more than 150 tonnes of radioactive metal imported from foundries in India in 12 federal states, according to a report by news magazine Der Spiegel. 

Citing an internal memo from the federal environment ministry, the magazine reported that some five tonnes of high-grade steel shavings exceeded the legally allowed contamination limits so greatly that they had to be handed over to the Association of Nuclear Service (GNS) which is responsible for the disposal of waste from nuclear power plants. 

The magazine quoted unnamed experts from the environment ministry saying the affair had a “huge dimension.” 

A spokeswoman from the German environment ministry on Saturday confirmed the report but played down the severity of the incidents. 

“You can’t really speak of a dramatic situation. But we’re taking the problem very seriously also because it has significant economic ramifications for the affected companies.” 

The ministry said the material posed no environmental or health threat and added that no consumer products in Germany were affected. “Most of the steel deliveries contain contamination levels below the legally allowed limits,” it said in a statement on Sunday. 

Representatives from the companies that imported the contaminated metal from India are to meet with ministry officials in the coming week. 

According to the newsweekly, the material bearing traces of Cobalt-60 came from three Indian foundries and ended up in 12 of Germany's 16 federal states. The magazine said authorities were aware of contamination in high-grade steel wires, machinery, scrap metal sheets, valves and castings. 

The report said the first contaminated delivery was discovered in 2008 in a container full of high-grade steel bars at the Hamburg port. 

Radioactive products from India were also discovered last year in France, Netherlands and Sweden. 

DPA/The Local (news at thelocal.de) 

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