Co60 source discovered in a scrap metal delivery

Print View Posted on: 22 March 2019

Event Date: 11 January 2019 Event Type: Transportation
Event Location: Germany, Port of Hamburg INES Rating: 1 (Final)

A Co60 source was found in a container on the site of a metal recycling company near the Port of Hamburg. It was part of a scrap metal delivery originating from Western Africa. The source was finally identified as a metal cylinder of approx. 1 cm radius and 10 cm length packed in a cloth bag. The gamma dose rate detected at the outer container wall was 83 mSv/h at most; at the source 693 mSv/h were measured in contact with the metal cylinder corresponding to a total activity of approx. 25 GBq. The source is now safely stored in the federal state collecting facility.
The event is rated INES level 1 based on the radioactivity of the recovered source.
This event is considered highly relevant, especially in the light of very similar finding recently reported from The Netherlands.

INES Rating: 1 - Anomaly (Final) as per 21 March 2019
Release beyond authorized limits? No
Overexposure of a member of the public? No
Overexposure of a worker? No

Contamination spread within the facility? No
Damage to radiological barriers (incl. fuel damage) within the facility? No

Degradation of Defence In-Depth Yes

Person injured physically or casualty? No
Is there a continuing problem? No

Michael Maqua
Gesellschaft für Anlagen und Reaktorsicherheit
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