Cesium-137 Resurfaced at Steel Foundry in Thailand
On 19 March, a cylinder of cesium-137 that went missing has resurfaced at a steel foundry in Thailand. Prachinburi Provincial Governor Ronnarong Nakornjinda announced this.
The cylinder of cesium-137 was discovered missing from Prachinburi coal-fired power plant, Thailand on 10 March. A cylinder 30 cm long, 13 cm in diameter and weighing 25 kilograms was used to measure steam pressure and to detect cracks and other defects in pipes. Prachinburi provincial governor reported that the container might be stolen to be sold in antique shops. The authorities have offered a monetary reward to those who provide information on the location of the cylinder with radioactive material.
In order to find the missing cylinder, Provincial public health and labor welfare officials set up a command center to search for the cylinder and handle any fallout from the incident.
Officials have been checking steel factories in the province, 150 kilometers east of Bangkok. On 19 March, they detected exceeded readings of radioactivity at the province’s largest steel foundry, in Kabin Buri district. The readings came from scrap metal that had been compressed into cubes ready to be smelted. The officials ordered to workers to terminate the operation of the foundry in order to prevent the radioactive metal from being crushed, a perimeter was also installed to prevent access of outsiders. Initial examination of the smelted material at the steel factory revealed traces of cesium-137.
According to the Nation Thailand