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Pas-de-Calais: Radioactive Bottle found in a Shed

A bottle containing a radioactive product has contaminated several people, including firefighters, Bruay-la-Lys, in the Pas-de-Calais …

Strange discovery. In the shed of a house in Bruay-la-Lys, in the Pas-de-Calais, a plastic bottle that read “uranium” was found on the night of Monday to Tuesday. It contained a white powder which was slightly contaminated-six people we have learned from sources.

The owner hospitalized for tests

Following this discovery, at least five firefighters were contaminated for several minutes before washing hands. There was no need for medical care. The owner, was transferred to Lille University Hospital for examinations, told AFP the sub-prefect of Bethune, Nicolas Honoré.

“The lady who had opened the bottle as firefighters arrived there around 9pm, noticed a slight radioactivity on it,”  he added. “Firefighters were initially found that the radioactivity was four times higher than normal but after washing your hands, it quickly returned to normal,” said his side Adouiak Youssef, Director of Services techniques Bruay-la-Buissière.

As a precaution, a security perimeter of one hundred metres was set up before mobile officers from the radiological response unit  (CMIR) based in Lille arrived to intervene at the scene to “place the bottle into safety.”

Potentially dangerous thorium 232

According to the first elements of the investigation, it could be of thorium-232 , which emits alpha radiation, potentially dangerous, generally used in the industry to make alloys in particular.

“We still want to know how this ended up at this lady. But it seems that he comes from a relocation of a recently deceased person who worked in the steel industry, “said Mr. Adouiak.

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