• Fine for unauthorised attempt to dispose radioactive waste

Environmental Laboratory

Fine for unauthorised attempt to dispose radioactive waste

Sep 15 2008

The Environment Agency has announced that two companies and an individual who attempted to dispose of radioactive waste without permission have been fined by the courts.

B&W Waste Management Services and FFEI have been fined £4,000 and £1,400 respectively and both were also fined £4,000 costs for the incidents.

An employee of B&W, Mourtiz Botha, was fined £250 for receiving the waste to be disposed after he and the companies pleaded guilty to the charges at Bedford Magistrates' Court.

The material in question was an X-ray fluorescence meter belonging to FFEI.

Anne-Lise McDonald, a spokesperson for the Environment Agency, said: "Sealed radioactive sources are safe if they remain intact but if the meter was broken or the outer casing of the sources was damaged it would be possible for harmful radioactive material to escape."

She added that had a fire occurred at the site, the protective shielding could have been damaged, resulting in a risk to human exposure, as well as potential damage to water quality, air quality or soil quality in the vicinity.

The Environment Agency notes that industries that produce nuclear waste are compelled to dispose of it safely, warning that many materials can remain radioactive for extended periods of time.

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