HCM CITY (VNS) — The HCM City People's Committee has asked agencies to quickly install positioning devices on equipment containing radioactive sources, amid several cases of lost radioactive devices in recent times.
The municipal department of science and technology and the Viet Nam National University's Integrated Circuit Design Research and Education Centre will be responsible for the installation work that begins today.
At an urgent meeting held yesterday to deal with the problem, Vice Chairman of the municipal committee Le Manh Ha said it was not the first time the committee had asked for the installation of positioning devices on radioactive equipment.
Last year, a branch of the Apave Asia-Pacific Company in the city had lost a radioactive device, which was then found after a four-day search.
Following the incident, units that used radioactive equipment at work were requested to attach a positioning device to them, but it was not done, Ha said.
Deputy Director of the Science and Technology Department Nguyen Khac Nam said the city had more than 200 devices containing radioactive sources, 124 of which were mobile devices.
Meanwhile, the authorities in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau have been intensely searching for the lost radioactive equipment from Ponima 3 Steel plant.
Search parties have looked around the plant, while suspected places in residential areas and waste collection sites are not being left out.
A labourer of KBEC Vina Ltd Co, which specialises in treating non-hazardous solid waste, said he saw equipment similar to the lost radioactive device a few months ago at a waste treatment area in Toc Tien commune, Tan Thanh district, which may now be covered with 10m of waste.
Radioactive detection devices cannot detect the lost equipment, which could be buried 10m deep, Vuong Huu Tan, director of the ministry of science and technology 's Viet Nam Agency for Radiation and Nuclear Safety, said to VnExpress.
Except for KBEC Vina's waste treatment area, the search parties have found lost devices at other waste treatment areas. — VNS