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India - Check all imported scrap metals for radioactivity content

Mumbai - After the radioactive scrap metal, found in lift buttons, installed in France were traced to a foundry near Khopoli in Maharashtra, the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) has written to Indian port authorities to check all imported scrap material for radioactivity content before allowing it inside the country.

"We have written letters to concerned authorities (ports) to check all the imported scrap for radioactivity content before bringing to the country for melting purposes," Vice-Chairman of the AERB, S K Chande said.

The AERB has also written to trade bodies and engineering firms asking them to check radioactivity level of raw scrap materials before they are processed and exported.

"We know that this is very profitable business, but precaution should be taken to prevent anybody being exposed radioactive doses, he said.

"There is no control over radioactive scrap being imported so far and we have requested and written to the ports for a thorough check up," Chande said.

After it was discovered that the lift buttons had radioactive scrap metal, they were withdrawn, he said. Chande said, AERB was also working on some complaint from Russia about radioactive metal in some material, when they got information from French authorities.

"Therefore, our businessmen who are involved in this business should take a note of caution and voluntarily get the screening done for radioactive content of the imported scrap," he said.

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