Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Theft of radioactive materials in Victoria

The theft is the most serious incident in the report, which includes another 33 cases where people were exposed to levels of radiation, most often as the result of medical error.

The Brumby Dump: nuclear compounds stolen from the back of a ute | Crikey, by Wez Matthews-Naylor, 22 Oct 120 Dangerous nuclear compounds were stolen from the back of an unlocked ute in the Melbourne suburb of Dandenong earlier this year, and remain at large despite a police investigation, according to the annual report of the Radiation Advisory Committee.A senior research fellow in the Department of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University, Mr Janusz Gebiki, described the isotype contained in the stolen equipment, caesium-137, as “a highly dangerous emitter of penetrating gamma rays”.

Gebiki said there have been several injuries caused by exposure to lost, stolen or discarded caesium: “Because it is water soluble and behaves chemically like potassium, it is easily absorbed by organisms.” The biological half life was about 70 days, he said.

The ute belonged to an employee of a Melbourne environmental and engineering company, the name of which is being kept confidential by the committee. The committee could not say what the repercussions against the company would be…..

The Secretary of the Radiation Advisory Committee, Julian Marwick, confirmed last week that the equipment had not been recovered. He said the material could be dangerous if handled incorrectly, but was not at the high end of risk….The theft is the most serious incident in the report, which includes another 33 cases where people were exposed to levels of radiation, most often as the result of medical error.

The Brumby Dump: nuclear compounds stolen from the back of a ute | Crikey

October 22, 2010 - Posted by | safety, Victoria | , , , , ,

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