Radiation levels down but not normal in Mayapuri: Greenpeace

Radiation levels down but not normal in Mayapuri: Greenpeace

A Greenpeace scientist takes radiation measurements at the Mayapuri scrap market in New Delhi on Wednesday. PTI

Radiation levels have come down in the six hotspots of west Delhi's Mayapuri area but were still not normal, environmental NGO Greenpeace said on Wednesday. It warned that the radiation leak incident should be treated as a wake-up call.

A team of Greenpeace activists surveyed Mayapuri scrapyard on Wednesday and said radiation levels were much lower than last week.

"As of now radiation levels are low but not normal. Bringing them to normal background levels involves detailed handling, checks and re-checks and we need to discuss the way forward," a Greenpeace spokesperson said.

The organisation conducted a survey of the scrap market May 14 to check gamma radiation and verify government claims that the area was back to normal background levels.

Greenpeace identified six hotspots with considerably elevated radiation levels. Of these, two spots had radiation 5,000 times more than the normal background level, it said.
Following this, a team from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and the Narora Atomic Power Station was decontaminating the area.

According to Greenpeace, the Mayapuri incident should be treated as a wake-up call.
"All the loopholes in the nuclear regulatory system need to be identified and dealt with. We are simply unprepared for the civilian nuclear expansion the government is currently proposing," said Karuna Raina, anti-nuclear campaigner of Greenpeace India.
Police said the source of the radiation leak last month was a radioactive gamma cell containing Cobalt-60, auctioned as scrap by Delhi University's chemistry department two months ago. One victim died while six people exposed to the radioactive Cobalt-60 are still undergoing anti-radiation treatment in a hospital.

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