Loss and subsequent recovery of a radioactive source

Print View Posted on: 31 January 2019

Event Date: 16 January 2019 Event Type: Transportation
Event Location: India, Rajahmundry, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. INES Rating: 1 (Final)

On January 14, 2019, a shielded container (Type-A package) having Cs-137 source of 80 GBq (meant for well logging purpose) was transported in a vehicle from the drilling site (Malleshwaram, Andhra Pradesh) to logging base of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC), Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh. On reaching the logging base, the vehicle was parked in secured premises. There was local holiday on January 14 & 15, 2019. On January 16, 2019, the container was found to be missing from the vehicle. On January 17, 2019, ONGC, Rajahmundry reported the event to Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) and lodged a complaint with local police. The container was recovered by the local police in the evening of January 23, 2019 from a scrap dealer located in Kalidindi town of Andhra Pradesh. The container and the radioactive source in it was observed to be in intact condition.

The investigations carried out by the local police revealed that the container had fallen from the vehicle during transportation to logging base. The container was picked up from the road by some persons and sold to the scrap dealer.

The event is rated at Level-1 on INES.

INES Rating: 1 - Anomaly (Final) as per 31 January 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

Vivek Piplani
Atomic Energy Regulatory Board

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