With no national storehouse, storage of radioactive sources remains risky

VietNamNet Bridge - The number of radioactive sources which are temporarily stored in Vietnam is nearly 3,000 out of more than 5,000 sources. 



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Storage of radioactive sources remains risky




This has placed a heavy burden on owners of radioactive sources as well as management agencies.

Truong Hong Duong, chief Inspector of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MST), cited statistics showing that there are 589 facilities with radioactive sources in 2017. 

As many as 291 X-ray facilities in 56 of 63 provinces have been inspected for radiation safety in accordance with MST’s Dispatch No 1103 April 11, 2017. 

The inspectors released a decision on imposing administrative fine on 84 facilities, (including 58 radioactive management and use facilities and 26 X-ray facilities), or 9.6 percent of inspected facilities.

The inspectors released a decision on imposing administrative fine on 84 facilities, (including 58 radioactive management and use facilities and 26 X-ray facilities), or 9.6 percent of inspected facilities.

The facilities were found violating regulations on radioactive source management under different forms. They did not have a license to carry out radiation work, did not store files about radiation safety, and did not have certificates for radiation workers.

The facilities did not strictly follow the regulation on controlling radiation doses, lacked safety instructions and radiation warnings, and did not appoint officers in charge of radiation safety.

According to Duong Quoc Hung, Deputy Director of the Agency for Radiation and Nuclear Safety, in many cases, the owners of radioactive sources could not show licenses for radioactive source use. 

Sources with no licenses must be sealed off and then carried to storehouses for control. 

However, since there is no national storehouse for radioactive sources, the inspectors had only once choice – sealing off radioactive sources and leave right at the facilities.

He went on to say that inspectors discovered many radioactive sources with high risks, but what they could do was just reporting this to the local science departments and local authorities. 

Meanwhile, it is impossible to watch how the reports have been treated.

“We could not deal with violators with a heavy hand because there is no national storehouse for radioactive sources,” he admitted.

The construction of a national depot still cannot be implemented for many reasons, including arguments about the legal basis. 

It’s estimated that there are 600 facilities which use and store radioactive sources temporarily with 5,000 closed sources, including over 2,000 sources in use and 3,000 in temporary storage.

According to MST Minister Pham Cong Tac, the biggest worry for state management agencies is the loss of radioactive sources.

The case of the loss of radioactive sources at Pomina’s ingot steel mill in Ba Ria – Vung Tau in 2015 and the case at Bac Kan DATC Cement JSC in 2016 caused problems to state management agencies.


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Mai Chi

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