Decontamination of New Delhi’s radioactive hotspots underway

May 17th, 2010 - 1:23 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, May 17 (ANI): Experts have started the process of decontaminating radiation hotspots in New Delhi.

Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) and the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) officials visited the scrap market in the Mayapuri locality of West Delhi, following reports that radiation exposure was still high in the area.

Greenpeace has said that its investigation found that Mayapuri was unsafe despite AERB declaring otherwise.

“On the May 14 we conducted a survey and identified six hotspots where two were found with a radiation level 5,000 times higher than the average level of background radiation,” said Karuna Raina, a nuclear activist from Greenpeace.

The first radiation leak was reported last month, but the process of decontamination could take months, an AERB official said.

Improper disposal of sensitive nuclear waste by the Delhi University came into focus after a worker dealing in scrap in a local market died of radiation exposure to Cobalt-60 last month.

The radioactive metal found its way to the scrap market from a Gamma Irradiator at a laboratory of the university’s Chemistry Department, bought in 1968 from Canada.

It is reported that these scrap dealers dismantled the item and in the process, the lead covering on it got peeled off, leading to radiation exposure.

Cobalt-60 is a radioactive isotope of cobalt that is hard, lustrous, grey metal. It is used in cancer therapy and assorted other medical treatment. (ANI)

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