Thefts of radioactive material in India
the DSP case is not the first time that there has been an accident involving radioactive material in India. Some incidents have received press attention and are widely known; others are not……there have been 16 cases of loss, theft or misplacement of radioactive sources across India since 2001, in which radioactive material found its way into the environment. In 11 of these incidents, the source was never found.
Radioactive theft material in India alarms US, IAEA, The Daily Mail , 28 Jan 2011, Christina Palmer & Ajay Mehta NEW DELHI – The US nuclear experts and the officials of IAEA are much alarmed over the constant cases of radioactive material from a number of defence and civilian nuclear facilities across India after the latest case of radioactive isotope cylinders going missing from a steel plant in Durgapur district of India, reveal the latest finding of the investigations of The Daily Mail.
According to these investigations, radioactive isotopes stolen from inside SAIL’s Durgapur Steel Plant a few days ago were found dumped in a community washroom of a slum adjacent to the plant on 16th of this month. The police booked one scrap dealer on a charge of pilferage.
The disappearance of the radioactive material had raised fears of a repeat of last year’s Mayapuri incident, in which a Delhi scrap dealer had died after coming into contact with radioactive waste.
These investigations further indicate that a four-member team of senior scientists headed by Dr Debashis Sen from Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) had arrived in Durgapur two days back to help in investigation of the incident, and recovery of the missing capsules, containing radioactive material protected under the provisions of the Import of Hazardous Chemical Rules, 1989 of the West Bengal Pollution Control Board.
The Daily Mail’s finding reveal that scientists were sent to Durgapur after the Durgapur Steel Plant authorities informed the Indian Ministries of Steel and Environment & Forest about the loss of the radioactive material.
The radioactive material, according to DSP officials: “Are deadly harmful for human beings and are supposed to be preserved in a secure environment.”…….
The Daily Mail’s findings indicate that the DSP case is not the first time that there has been an accident involving radioactive material in India. Some incidents have received press attention and are widely known; others are not…… A review of ‘unusual occurrences’ contained within the AERB’s annual reports reveals that there have been 16 cases of loss, theft or misplacement of radioactive sources across India since 2001, in which radioactive material found its way into the environment. In 11 of these incidents, the source was never found.
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