Outokumpu’s Tornio site exposed to radiation through recycled steel
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Finland-based Outokumpu has announced that its Tornio melting furnace was exposed to a source of radiation during the night between Thursday and Friday, February 23/24, which has been identified as americium. During the maintenance work, four meltshop employees were exposed to radiation.
The Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) stated that one of the employees was potentially exposed to a dose of approximately ten millisieverts of radiation which was limited and does not threaten to have an adverse impact on the health of the employee. The measurements for the other three employees have not shown any abnormal radioactivity levels. The incident does not pose any hazard to employees outside the meltshop furnace area.
Americium ended up in the melting process through recycled steel, although Outokumpu's supplier contracts for recycled steel stipulate that the material must not contain any radioactive elements. Accordingly, Outokumpu has decided to conduct radiation measurements at the Tornio site on Friday, February 24 and over the weekend to ensure that the smelter has no harmful amounts of radioactive materials.
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