Orphan radium appears in Tokyo residence

The japan Times reported discovery of dozens of bottles and test tubes emitting high radiation levels in a house in Setagaya Ward, Tokyo. It contained a white powdery substance believed to be radium-226- containing luminous paint.

They were removed for safe storage and disposal. Fukushima reactor accident has sensitized public to anything radioactive.

The radiation level measured around the surface of the bottles was 600 microsieverts per hour.At 1 meter from the bottles, the reading was 20 microsieverts per hour, a science ministry official said.

When the bottles and tubes were placed inside a lead container, the radiation level declined to between 0.1 and 0.35 microsievert per hour. A 90 year old woman who lived there had not seen the bottles; she had no idea why they were stored there. She must have been receiving about 30 milliesieverts per year year after year from 1953 to February this year.Her diseased husband also had nothing to do with the bottles

In JapanUnregistered radioisotopes appear at least once every year mostly from shuttered hospitals or abandoned houses


About ksparthasarathy

I am a former Secretary of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board. I am a former Raja Ramanna Fellow in the Department of Atomic Energy. Free lance journalism is my hobby
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