Posted on 08/04/2019 in category BIR

Radioactivity : BIR members are advised to ensure their radiation detection equipment is in good working order

BIR has been made aware that a significant number of Cobalt 60 (Co60) radioactive sources from scrapped medical devices from Nigeria have fallen out of the country's regulatory control and are now appearing in scrap metal exported for recycling. BIR members’ operating radiation detection equipment in importing countries have found a small number of those radiation sources. The efforts of these recycling companies have enabled some of the lost sources to be brought back under regulatory control, however a large number of sources are still ‘out there’ and ‘out of regulatory control’ and may still enter into scrap metal streams. Hence metal recycling companies are advised to ensure their radiation detection equipment and procedures are all in good working order.

Radioactive sources inadvertently appear in scrap metal collected for recycling especially when tracking records for radioactive materials in use are poor, and there is insufficient awareness and training for those responsible for the sources in use and at their end-of-life.

To raise awareness and provide advice on preventing, detecting and responding to radioactive material inadvertently incorporated into scrap metal, BIR publishes posters in Arabic, Chinese, English, Finnish, French, German, Hindi, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

Please note the authoritative publication by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) "Control of Transboundary Movement of Radioactive Material Inadvertently Incorporated into Scrap Metal and Semi-finished Products of the Metal Recycling Industries"

For further information please contact rbartley@bir.org

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