Hundreds of Vietnamese workers evacuated due to radioactive leak

http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/003200712291017.htm 

Hanoi (Xinhua): Between 400 and 500 workers of a limited-liability company in Vietnam were evacuated after a radioactive source used to inspect an oilrig was misplaced, according to local newspaper Ho Chi Minh City Law on Saturday.

The workers of the Alpha Maritime Engineering Technical Service Company were evacuated on Friday afternoon after the radioactive source used to inspect welding knots of the oilrig in southern Vung Tau city was lost for over an hour.

In the late afternoon of the same day, the misplaced radioactive source was found.

The workers asked the oilrig management board to explain the accident’s cause and clarify its potential impacts on their health, the newspaper said.

Vietnam is upgrading security systems of its radioactive sources. The country currently houses 188 industrial and healthcare establishments having a total of 1,961 radioactive sources, some of them have not been equipped with tight security systems, according to the Vietnam Agency for Radiation and Nuclear Safety and Control under the Ministry of Science and Technology.

Vietnam’s sole nuclear reactor, becoming operational in the Da Lat Nuclear Institute in Da Lat city in central highlands Lam Dong province in 1984, has a capacity of 500 kw. It is used for training and research purposes, especially medical ones. Vietnam plans to build its first nuclear power plant between 2015 and 2020.

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