Four Dutch scrap metal dealers reportedly have been arrested by the country’s Functional Prosecution Service following an investigation that found 25 metric tons of radioactive scrap metal were handled improperly. The Authority for Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection (ANVS), a Netherlands-based agency tasked with ensuring nuclear safety and radiation protection in the country, says the radioactive scrap is thought to have come from ships’ ballast blocks.
According to an article on the DutchNews.NL website, the recyclers are suspected of offering radioactive material for sale and deliberately exposing people to radiation. The investigation began after a scrap metal dealer told officials he had been given several kilos of scrap that set off the alarms at his scrap yard. He warned ANVS, which then called police.
The material likely came from a ship that was being demolished, police said. The police say they suspect the ship dismantling company was trying to get rid of the radioactive scrap as cheaply as possible and mixed it in with ordinary metal, according to the DutchNews.NL report.
The ANVS says it secured the radioactive metal at different locations and is arranging for its removal.