Transport Special - Plutonium Investigation n°6/7
 

One hot spot enough to reach the annual dose limit

Based on the internationally accepted transfer factor (3.1 x 10-8 Sv/Bq according to ICRP-72, adopted by the International Commission on Radiological Protection in September 1995), the inhalation by an adult of cobalt-60 particles of an average size of one micron with an activity of 10,000 Bq leads in the case of slow elimination to an effective dose of 0.31 mSv, thus in excess of the annual exposure limit for the public around nuclear facilities (!) in Germany of 0.30 mSv, one third of the European limit. Particles of 10,000 Bq and more, essentially cobalt-60 activated, have been found on rail cars coming into Valognes from German power plants on at least five occasions in 1997-98. But even those measurements do not constitute any guarantee to represent either real maximum or exceptional levels because of the low control ratio. The risk seems rather high that people have been exposed to significant levels of radiation over the period the contaminated transports have crossed countries. Worse, hot particles have been spread into the environment along rail tracks and roads. People might actually continue to get contaminated presently and for a long time to come.

The 1985 Nobel Prize winning NGO International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW)
Map of the contamined transport (Pdf format, 90 Ko)          

Back to Editorial
Back to contents