On Thursday the Department of Environmental Protection said it was notified on February 23 that recycle scrap contaminated with radioactive material was shipped from a PSC Metals, Inc. facility in Beaver Falls, PA, to two facilities in Ohio.
A radium-226 source of unknown origin was accidentally shredded with other materials, then shipped to processing facilities in Ohio.
A team from DEP’s Radiation Protection Program took extensive readings at the Beaver Falls scrapyard. Elevated readings were found on one large metal shredder and on gloves used by two workers.
DEP is performing additional testing to ensure that there was no skin contamination. Radium-226 can be harmful if ingested.
Preliminary tests on the workers who operated the machine showed no contamination. All other employees at the scrap yard were also tested for contamination. Results are pending.
The shredder has been isolated and there is no indication that there is any other contamination at the site and none outside the scrap yard property.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has been notified. The contaminated scrap metal is securely contained and does not pose a health risk to facilities’ employees or the general public
PSC Metals is working with a private contractor to develop a plan to quickly decontaminate the Beaver Falls scrap yard and the Ohio Sites.DEP’s Radiation Protection team has locked down the scrap yard and will continue to take follow up readings and monitor the situation as needed. DEP and officials in Ohio will oversee the recovery and cleanup of these sites.