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Schnitzer Cesium

Site Contact:
Dan Heister
Federal OSC


Site Location:
12005 North Burgard Way
Portland, OR 97203

On March 12, 2008 Oregon Radiation Protection Services (RPS) responded to a radiological event in St. Johns, OR. Responders identified what appears to be a leaking Cesium-137 source

The St. John's, OR facility of Schnitzer Steel reported a radiation alarm on a load of scrap metal. The material had been offloaded from a barge, which had picked up the material at a scrap yard in Vancouver, Canada. The scrap metal appears to come from a Canadian company, Amix. The origin of the material, prior to the Vancouver scrap yard, is unknown at this time.

Three pieces containing Cs-137 have been identified. Two "fixed gauge" pieces, each containing Cs-137 may be separated parts of one device. The first piece is U-shaped and the second is a straight pipe. Removable Cs-137 contamination has been identified from the U-shaped piece, and straight piece.

The third piece, a Cs-137 device is a wide cylinder attached to a square steel plate. This third piece does not appear to be part of the pieces one and two. The third device appears to have a damaged shutter, so the photon beam is partially exposed. The source identification plate is missing, and was pried off.

Schnitzer Steel has completely offloaded the barge, and would like to dispatch it to another location. RPS personnel plan to survey the barge before it's planned departure on 3/14/08.

For additional information, visit the Pollution Report (POLREPS) section.