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Dutch find enriched uranium in scrap metal from Russia

By Adriana Stuijt     Feb 6, 2009 in Business
The Dutch health ministry has confiscated enriched uranium pieces found in two locked sea-containers from St Petersburg in Russia by a scrap-metal dealer in Dordrecht, near Rotterdam. The International Atomic Energy Commission is probing the origins.
KMR-Stainless, a scrap-metal company in Dordrecht near Rotterdam harbour immediately rang the alarm bell after finding four large scrap metals pieces which contained 4 to 13 percent enriched uranium.
The company, located at the Gravendeelsedijk 175 in Dordrecht, holds a license for the handling of radioactive scrap metal with the Dutch ministry of environmental health in which very strict guidelines have to be followed.
As such, they are equipped with all the monitoring equipment required to establish the radioactivity levels in the metals for recycling received from all across the world.
The four scrap metal pieces will now be handed over to the COBRA NV company in Flushing, which handles radioactive waste storage. The metal was in two seperate sea-containers. See
The company had not expected to find any radioactivity in the scrap metal supply which was delivered with two different shipments from St. Petersburg since December last year. They are licensed to handle radioactive material whenever it is found however, under a strict licensing agreement with the Dutch health ministry. Rotterdam harbour handles some of the most toxic and dangerous chemicals in the world and many companies are well equipped and regulated to deal with such eventualities.(in Dutch).
The Dutch ministry of health immediately confiscated the pieces of metal from the two sea containers and reported the find to the International Atomic Energy commission in Vienna. Their inspectors are in The Netherlands, testing and investigating the find and trying to determine its exact origins.
KMR-Stainless workers and Dordrecht residents were given assurances that their lives were not at any time endangered by the contents of the two closed containers -- and that these had posed no health risks for residents.
The plans are to store the contaminated scrap in a nuclear-waste facility, the ministry of health said.
Meanwhile they are under lock and key under their control. No other details were provided.see
More about Enriched uranium, Petersburg, Sea containers, Dordrecht, Rotterdam
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