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Input from scrap experts on radiation code

Austria – Government experts at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have been working towards finalising the draft ‘Code of Conduct on the Transboundary Movement of Scrap Metal and Semi-finished Products of the Metal Recycling and Production Industries that may inadvertently contain radioactive material’, reports the BIR world recycling body.

At a meeting in Vienna, Austria, the recycling industry was represented by the BIR’s Environmental & Technical Director Ross Bartley as well as by other scrap experts from the USA, Germany and Spain. In essence, says the BIR, it was proposed that every transboundary movement of ferrous and non-ferrous scrap metal or semi-product would need to be monitored for radiation and that a Radiation Monitoring Report should be provided in paper form or electronically.

Mr Bartley explains: ‘Not every metal is at risk of inadvertently containing radioactive material; for example, primary aluminium semi-finished products such as ingot, slab, coil or billet should be considered for exclusion from the scope of this Code of Conduct.’

The Code of Conduct will still have to pass through the IAEA board of governors and the General Conference for political agreement.

Large scrap yards and metal melting facilities that are at risk of inadvertent radioactive contamination ‘should have invested in monitoring equipment’, states the BIR. ‘By doing so, they are best-placed to monitor for radioactive sources that governments lost control of or never controlled.’

 

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