Radiation levels down at hotspots in Delhi, says Greenpeace

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New Delhi, May 19 (ANI): A survey team from the leading environment NGO, Greenpeace on Wednesday claimed that there is a significant decline in the levels of harmful radiation from radioactive hotspots in New Delhi.

'As of now radiation levels are less but not normal. Bringing them to normal background levels involves detailed handling, checks and re-checks and we need to discuss the way forward,' said a Greenpeace spokesperson.

"There is, from our point of view, no immediate threats to the population any more, and we are pleased with that. However, there is still an increased level of radiation, which requires some further action, which has been planned by the (concerned) authorities," said Jan Vande Putte, a radiation expert from Greenpeace.

The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) had sent teams of experts to the area to curtail further contamination. Other than these two agencies, the Narora Atomic Power Station and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) have also visited the area.

However, they remains sceptical of the steps taken by the government agencies to cleanse the area.

"We are not very satisfied with the (government) process. There have been lot of inconsistencies in communication (From the DAE). If you look at their press release from April 9, they say that the area is safe and the level of radiation is safe background radiation level. When an authority like the DAE talks about safe radiation levels, they pretty much know what they are talking about. So they should not try to fool and confuse the people," said Karuna, an activist.

Improper disposal of sensitive nuclear waste by the Delhi University came into focus after a worker dealing in scrap in a local market died of radiation exposure to Cobalt-60 last month.

The radioactive metal found its way to the scrap market from a Gamma Irradiator at a laboratory of the university's Chemistry Department, bought in 1968 from Canada.

It is reported that these scrap dealers dismantled the item and in the process, the lead covering on it got peeled off, leading to radiation exposure.

Cobalt-60 is a radioactive isotope of cobalt that is hard, lustrous, grey metal. It is used in cancer therapy and assorted other medical treatment. (ANI)

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