Discovery of a Cs-source in scrap

Italian border control denied a shipment of scrap (zinc, lead) due to elevated radiation on 16 July 2003 (Vrtojba road border pass). The Slovenian Nuclear Safety Administration (SNSA) was informed promptly through 24-hour service between Slovenian customs/police and the SNSA. The consignor of the shipment was a Slovenian scrap dealer from Ljubljana. At the border, the SNSA inspector assessed maximum dose rate and identified the radionuclide: 40 microSv/h (shielded source) and Cs-137, respectively. The vehicle was retained and safe area was established. Next day, 17 July 2003, the inspector discussed main facts with parties involved in the recovery. The shipment was transported back to the scrap-yard in Ljubljana, where the shipment was unloaded and source recovery was done. The source was stored in a cylindrical metal container with dimension - app. ¨ 15 × 25 cm. The estimated activity of the source was app. 2.5 GBq. Because the beam was not shielded (missing shutter), the highest dose rate was 19 mSv/h. The contact dose rate on the shielded parts of container was up to 50 microSv/h. The source was locally stored and later on transported under special arrangement to the Joþef Stefan Institute hot cell, pending for treatment and storage in the Central storage facility, operated by the Agency for Radwaste Management.
It seems that the source came illegally into Slovenia. The origin of the source is under investigation.


Location: 
Shipment of scrap
Event date: 
Wed, 2003-07-16
Event sender: 
Marjan F. Levstek
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