Radioactive material is a problem for the waste and recycling industry
Radioactive materials are used in medical, industrial and research fields. If these materials mistakenly end up in general waste or waste recycling sites they will contaminate the load and potentially end up contaminating products made from the recycled material, for example: melting radioactive materials metal with non-radioactive materials scrap metal will create recycled metal that is now radioactive. The radioactive material can also contaminate the disposal or recycling site which might result in harm to staff, a costly shut-down and lengthy cleaning operation.
And you now have a load of radioactive material on your site which you have to pay to dispose of.
Companies that accept affected materials (eg scrap metal) and waste for recycling and disposal can, therefore, be obliged by the national laws that govern their trade to check for the presence radioactive materials using appropriate monitoring procedures.
Swiss listing for D3S ID
D3S ID meets the requirements of the Guideline “Checking of waste, recycling and landfill materials for possible radioactivity.” You can read the full listing here.
Radioactive contamination at waste recycling sites and metal recycling plants is a problem for the industry worldwide.
Some recent incidents of waste contamination
Torino Metal Recycling
Outokumpu’s Tornio facility in Finland, one of Europe’s biggest steel plants, suffered four radiation contamination incidents between July 2018 to October 2018. All four recent incidents involved americium. The October 2018 incident’s concentration strength was about 1-2 Giga Becquerels which qualifies as an International Nuclear Event Scale (INES) radiation incident. Luckily no one was harmed and the material was caught before it was used to make new metal. Americium has several uses and one of its isotopes Am-241 is used in smoke detectors but in very small quantities (approx 0.28 micrograms). Americium-241 is also used in the medical and industrial field in devices including depth and moisture gauges used in road and building construction.
Port of Genoa
In July 13, 2010, a cargo container full of scrap copper arrived in Genoa, Italy, from Saudi Arabia containing nearly 23 tonnes of scrap copper was found to be radioactive. Emitting a rate of around 500 mSv/h. It spent a year in quarantine before being dismantled by robots who found a rod of cobalt-60 (23 cm long and 0.8 cm in diameter) amongst the scrap.
Acerinox Scrap Metal
In May 1998, the Acerinox Scrap Metal reprocessing plant in Spain failed to identify material contaminated with caesium-137. This was then melted creating a radioactive cloud that was picked up by radiation monitors in France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Austria.
The D3S ID gamma neutron detector and gamma isotope identifier
The D3S ID wearable RIID gamma neutron detector identifies radioisotopes and detects neutrons in seconds.
The D3S ID wearable RIID is designed to be used by almost anyone.
Turn the detector on, launch the phone app, and in seconds you are good to go.
Armed with the D3S ID, you are a walking gamma and neutron detector, able to detect even shielded sources and identify the isotopes used.
The D3S ID is hands-free, you can go about your job as usual with the phone announcing any radiation found into your earbud or by vibrating – alerting you to take further action.