Ladies handbags with buckles containing Co-60

On December 21st 2006 the Inspectorate was notified by te Customs Office at Rotterdam Maasvlakte that they had a radiation alarm of their portal detector. Using handheld survey equipment an enhanced radiation level at the surface of a 20 ft container of 1.5 microSieverts per hour could be determined. The container identification number is FCIU 260145-9. The container was unloaded by the VROM-Inspectorate South-West Unit.
The container was completely filled with several types of bags, most of them ladies handbags. An enchanced radiation level at the surface of 44 of these handbags of at most 35 microsieverts per hour was measured, due to the presence of cobalt-60. Several handbags were further examined by a specialised firm. The cobalt-60 was incorporated in the buckle of the shoulder strap of the handbags. The activity was calculated to be at least 38 kBq per handbag. The total activity of the cobalt-60 was calculated to be at least 1.6 MBq. The handbags were manufactured in India. The buckles with the cobalt-60 contamination were supplied by K.S. International, Kolkata, India, in a total amount of 141 pieces. The 44 buckles with cobalt-60 will be transported to COVRA, the radioactive waste facility in the Netherlands.

Location: Customs Office Maasvlakte; Bosporustraat 5; NL-3199 LJ;Rotterdam Maasvlakte
Event date: Thu, 21-12-2006
Nuclear event report
Legenda & explanation