Science News

Number of Radioactivity Accidents Increases

Sun, 17th Feb 2002

Part of the show Cardiologist Peter Weissberg talks about heart disease

The number of accidents involving radioactive materials in the UK has doubled over the past decade, according to the National Radiological Protection Board. In 2000 38 incidents were reported, compared with only 19 ten years earlier, in 1999. In one reported case 30 industrial smoke detectors containing radioactive materials were dumped in a country park. There are more and more mishaps involving transport of radioactive material. Between 1990 and 2000 over 300 shipments were either contaminated, damaged or simply lost. A lot of these involve radioactive fuel from nuclear power stations, which was being taken to the Sellafield reprocessing plant in Cumbria. At this rate it will be fairly easy for terrorists to get hold of radioactive material unless security is tightened. The environmental group 'Greenpeace' have called trains carrying radioactive material "a walking terrorist target".


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