A file photo a radioactivity material container that has gone missing from a steel mill in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau for more than three months. Photo credit: VnExpress
Authorities in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau are collaborating with a local steel mill in scouring a container of radioactive material which has apparently gone missing for more than three months.
It remains a question why it took such a long time for the steel mill to notice the disappearance of the capsule, believed to contain highly radioactive cobalt-60.
The province’s department of science and technology told the press on Monday that one can be exposed to radiation with the level of 2.5 millisieverts per hour when being about 10 centimeters from the Pomina 3 plant’s capsule.
That level is alarmingly high considering the annual dose limit for general public is 1 millisievert.
“The radioactive source can pose health risks to humans when in touch. So, the search and retrieval of the source is very urgent,” the department said.
It quoted Pomina 3 as saying that the container was found missing on March 25, soon after Dao Duc Hung, an employee in charge of the factory’s radiation safety, handed over his job to another.
Hung failed to account for its disappearance.
According to a Pomina 3’s report, the capsule, which was imported in 2010, was last seen and recorded at the end of 2014 when it was removed from one of the mill’s production lines that broke down.
No records showed that it was sent to the mill’s warehouse after the removal.
The science department said they have asked the plant to report the incident to the Vietnam Agency for Radiation and Nuclear Safety so it can receive support for the search, and continue to apply measures for radiation accidents in accordance with the laws.