Officials confirm scrap contained uranium

A scrap metal company had to call in government officials after it discovered that some of its scrap metal was contaminated with uranium.

KMR Stainless discovered the scrap was radioactive after it had been shipped from Saint Petersburg to Dordrecht, in the Netherlands at the end of 2008.

The firm called in inspectors from the Dutch Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment (VROM) after the discovery.

Inspectors have now confirmed the scrap had been contaminated with low-grade enriched uranium and officials had informed the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The scrap is now being stored by the National Institute of Public Health and the Environment, and will be transported to a special facility in Vlissingen, where it will be processed as radioactive waste.

However, VROM said the transport and storage of the contaminated scrap will not have put KMR Stainless’ employees at risk.

According to reports from the Dutch media, inspectors said that four suspect pieces of scrap were found in the container.

Two of them were contaminated with 13% enriched uranium and the other two pieces with 4% enriched uranium.

Local media also said representatives of the IAEA had travelled to the Netherlands this month to collect samples of the radioactive scrap which will now be tested in a bid to determine their origins.

Kate Martin

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