Two more sources of radiation detected in Delhi

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - 11:50

New Delhi: Two more sources of radiation were detected in the Mayapuri scrap market in the city where Cobalt-60 was recovered, taking the total sources of radioactive substance found in the industrial area to 10.

Eight sources of radioactive Cobalt-60 were detected last week while the two fresh cases of radiation were detected yesterday. Seven persons were injured after getting exposed to
the radioactive substance Fresh radiation was detected by a team of experts from Department of Atomic Energy which was conducting follow-up checks in the market, S K Malhotra, Public Awareness Officer of DAE, said.

"Our team from Atomic Minerals Directorate Unit was combing the area for possible radiation. We had gone there for a routine check when we detected higher than normal radiation levels in 500 metres of the shop where radiation was detected earlier," he said.

"We detected two more sources of radiation last night. However, radiation was much less in intensity this time compared to the one we detected last week," he said.

Experts were ascertaining the nature of the radioactive material.

The shopkeeper had removed some metal from scrap which is the source of fresh radiation, he said.

Soon after the radiation was detected, National Disaster Management Authority and National Disaster Response Force were alerted.

Panic was triggered in the locality last week after news of a radiation leak spread with six persons falling ill after coming in contact with a "mysterious shining object" in a scrap shop, later identified as Co-60.

A senior police official said the new source of radiation was detected "quite far off" from the earlier one which was detected on last Friday in the shop in Mayapuri owned by one Deepka Jain, who is in a serious condition in Apollo Hospital.

Asked whether it was a lapse on part of experts who conducted searches last week, he answered in the negative saying the new source of radiation was at least 500 metres
from the shop where the radiation was detected earlier.

The official said there were no fresh cases of hospitalisation in the national capital as the seventh patient was admitted on Sunday.

NDMA member J K Bansal said the Authority will be doing radiation monitoring by radio biodosimetry which will be done at the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Life Sciences.

He said there was "no risk" at the moment but "whosoever has been already been exposed there may be very low exposure, not showing any symptoms, so they are being
monitored".

Meanwhile, police remained clueless about the origin of radioactive Cobalt-60 recovered from the scrap shop last week. Investigators are yet to receive any report from department of Atomic Energy regarding Cobalt-60 recovered from Mayapuri scrap market.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (West) Sharad Aggarwal said they were yet to make any headway in the probe as investigators could not speak to Jain.

Asked about reports putting the origin of the radioactive material to foreign countries, he said it was speculation and they have not received any report from experts.
AERB experts, along with Department of Atomic Energy scientists, has safely removed eight bunches of metal scraps containing sources of Cobalt-60 radioactive isotope from the West Delhi shop and transported the material to the Narora Atomic Power Station in Uttar Pradesh.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - 11:50

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