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Radioactive contamination in imported scrap metals

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by - 3/11/2009 25904 Views

Alarming levels of radioactive contamination in imported scrap to India

More than 50% of the total 123 shipments of contaminated steel is from India. The 67 shipments from India were denied entry into European and US ports. The reason, contamination of Cobalt-60 in the finished products such as stainless steel bars, Manholes, Motor Cycle handle bars etc. So what is the cause for the contamination of Cobalt-60 and what harm can it cause? chernobyl-vehicle-graveyard.jpg

The answer lies in our poor and corrupt regulatory measures in import of scrap metal. We import a lot of hazardous radioactive scrap metal into India considering the cheap rates. Our harbors do not have a proper regulation on hazardous material or turn a blind eye to it. India is becoming a dumping ground for the developed nations including Japan who tries to dump the e-waste here.

It is just a tip of iceberg. If the finished products had a radioactive hazard, think of the raw scrap and the workers who process the scrap. Only a bare minimum of these finished products are exported.  The major portion of the recycled scrap is used in India. Of course Cobalt-60 is not categorized extremely radioactive but it still emits gamma rays which can cause cancer. It takes about 5.27 years to for cobalt 60 to lose its radioactivity to 50%. So calculate how long it will take to completely lose its radioactivity and become stable nickel.

The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) confirms that the cause for the radiation of finished products in India is due to the import of hazardous materials. It also insists that every importer of metal scrap in India should obtain a certificate from the exporting country that the scrap is free from radioactivity. A multilayer radiation check system proposed by AERB should be followed to prevent the import and export of radioactive contaminated material.

It is time we take strict action on any hazardous imports no matter how profitable they are. Like the Chinese government we too should punish those who are knowingly involved in this. There were rumors last year that the highly radioactive Chernobyl scrap was shipped to Asia but we do not have any substantial evidence on that. Hope the Indian government and the harbors look into this issue and take immediate action.

Category : Metal

Tags : Metal Scrap,

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About Guna

C.G.Nadar works for recycleinme.com for the past 6 years and he provides support to members. He is involved in various associations of the scrap Industry and is researching the current market trends. .... more info



Yes it sux. So many computers monitors and cellphone scrap are imported and dumped here in landfills after extracting the usables

radio active wate

As un Qualifed person thier is a court case in the Uk whir civlian and enlisted personal may possible have been exposed to radio active materials the reason for this is that we whir assicoated with the cliosure of coalation of the willing as a resault i am aware court case in the uk high court sue MOD.

Ihave shadeing on both lungs as a result of medical tests.





Dear all i have read advertisments thsat equipment advertised for sale on the internet and the seller has stated the history this equipment has been operated in radio active area.

One such site is E Bay.

Thier proably other as well.