The National Radiation Emergency Response team has recovered all the radioactive Cobalt—60 sources from a Gamma cell which was scattered in a scrap yard at Mayapuri in Delhi, exposing eight persons to radiation.
“The operation of highly radioactive cobalt sources were completed last night and all material has been handed over to Narora Atomic Power station,” BARC sources told PTI today.
The Gamma cell was auctioned by the Delhi University’s Chemistry department to a scrap dealer leading to radiation leak in Mayapuri. Eight people were exposed to high radiation.
While one person died, two others are in a serious condition. Others are undergoing treatment.
In all 16 Cobalt pencils were recovered, of which four were recovered intact and others were scattered in pieces as they were dismantled in the scrap yard. Some were recovered even outside Delhi, the sources said.
“Each of the pencils had 7 pieces inside. We have recovered all the 112 pieces and sent them in sealed flasks to Narora,” the sources said.
“Many of these pieces were hidden in the scrap among nuts and bolts and we had a tough time tracing the sources,” they said.
The source search, identification and recovery operation of the Mayapuri scrap to make it free from “orphan sources” (unaccounted sources to atomic Energy Regulatory Board) began on April 7.
The operation was carried out by Emergency response teams of BARC, Nuclear Power Corporation and Atomic Energy Regulatory Board experts who had experience in nuclear reactor operations.
Support was provided by National Disaster Response force of National Disaster Management authority and Mayapuri police teams, the sources added.