[ RadSafe ] Genoa Co-60 Radioactive Container

Roy Parker radmail at cox.net
Thu Aug 11 11:24:39 CDT 2011

Does anyone have any definitive information on the below, particularly activity?  Is this another case of radioactive material in metal scrap?

Roy A. Parker, Ph.D.


Radioactive container scare ends at Genoa
Felicity Landon | Wed, 10 Aug 2011

Cobalt-60 is made safe by robot after more than a year of fear at Italian port

The radiation scare at the port of Genoa has ended after more than a year, by using a robot to open the suspect container and get to the Cobalt-60 inside.

The MSC container, which originated in Ajman in the UAE, arrived at the Italian port in July last year. 

It was supposed to be carrying a consignment of copper and it was not until it had been on the quayside at Genoa's Voltri Terminal for several days that checks detected the presence of Cobalt-60. 

This prompted fears that it could be a terrorist weapon and opening it could trigger a "dirty bomb". 

For the following month, the box remained barricaded by other containers filled with stones and water while the authorities considered what to do next.

The opening of the box involved more than 100 people, including fire and nuclear response teams. The Cobalt-60 was placed in a casket of lead for transport to a disposal site.

An investigation will now be carried out into why the Cobalt-60 capsule was in the container.

 Augusto Russo, of the Genoese fire team specialising in nuclear, chemical and biological emergencies, said that if anyone had handled it without precautions, they would probably now be dead. 

Joe Alioto, VP at VeriTainer, which manufactures container scanning systems, said the episode highlighted dangers inherent in the supply chain.

The problem would have been avoided altogether if a system was in place to routinely scan containers for radiation at country of origin, using crane mounted scanning, he said.

 "There is virtually no infrastructure whatsoever in place to do anything about it. This is something really bad waiting to happen," he added.

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