High Radiation Readings on Canada’s East Coast

Originally Radiation Leak Reported, Now Source Apparently Unknown


A container carrying a radioactive material used in the uranium enrichment process leaked at a Halifax shipping yard late Thursday, after falling more than 15 metres from a crane onto the deck below.

Emergency officials and a hazardous materials team were on the scene at the shipping yard after the container carrying uranium hexafluoride fell.

The material is used in the production of fuel for nuclear reactors and weapons.

Fire officials told CTV News they are treating the situation as a radioactive leak.

Officials said radiation levels around the unit are higher than normal.

(View video at the source: CTV)

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HALIFAX – Firefighters responded to a possible radiation leak aboard a ship at the port of Halifax on Thursday night, but later determined there was no leak of radioactive material.

The Halifax regional fire department says there were no injuries and no one was contaminated at the Ceres terminal in Fairview Cove in the city’s north end.

A city news release says firefighters received a call shortly before 10 p.m. after four steel cylinders fell about six metres from inside a container at the terminal, landing in a contained area of the ship.

It says the cylinders contained uranium hexafluoride, which is the chemical compound used in the gas centrifuge process to enrich uranium that is then used as reactor fuel or to arm nuclear missiles.

Initially, division commander Corey Beals said the department thought it was dealing with “some sort of radiological leak” but he couldn’t provide any further details.

About 90 minutes later, the department said there wasn’t a leak.

The city said fire officials conducted tests about six metres from the container and found radioactive levels were three to four times normal background levels, but it gave no explanation for those levels and a city spokesman couldn’t be reached for comment. Firefighters evacuated the immediate area as a safety precaution.

“There is no indication anything leaked from the cylinders,” the city said in its news release.

(Read the full article at Huffington Post)

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