A full-fledged probe into the incident of radioactive material being found in the scrap at Mayapuri in west Delhi earlier this month is under way. The scrap apparently came from abroad, Minister of State for Atomic Energy Prithiviraj Chavan told the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

“How did it come? Most likely this piece of equipment containing Cobalt 60 is not registered with the Atomic Energy Regulation Board (AERB). So the logical conclusion is that it came as scrap from abroad,” Mr. Chavan said in response to a calling attention motion moved by D. Raja of the Communist Party of India.

Mr. Chavan ruled out the material having originated from domestic sources, as the country had strict rules and regulations in place. “No operator in the country could buy radiological equipment for treatment without the permission of the AERB, and even the disposal of the same is monitored.”

He agreed with the suggestion of members that a proper law was needed to ensure that compensation was paid to victims of such accidents.

Mr. Chavan said that to prevent imports of such radioactive material, the government was installing 12 full container scanners at major ports; two such machines were in operation at the Nhava Sheva port in Mumbai.

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