The cloud of radiation threat resurfaced in Mayapuri on Friday.
Foreign technicians of international environmental organisation Greenpeace identified six radioactive spots near the shop where traces of radioactive substance Cobalt-60 were found in April this year.
“Cobalt-60 radiations, 5,000 times higher than the natural background, were found within 100 meters of the shop D-320,” said Stan Vincent, a Dutch radiation technician.
“Its exposure will not have any immediate health impact. (But) there is a risk of developing cancer after several years, if the exposure is long,” Vincent warned.
Vincent added Greenpeace hasn’t examined the workers of Asia’s biggest junkyard to find any impact of the radiation.
Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) stopped short of ruling out the Greenpeace observation completely, describing the claim as a “possible exaggeration”.
The exposure to Cobalt-60 has claimed one life while seven persons are still undergoing treatment in city hospitals.
AERB scientist Dr Rajoo Kumar, who conducted the initial survey in the area, said the regulatory body had only decontaminated the shop.
“As the Cobalt-60 pencils were cut in the shop, there is a possibility the granules may have flown to nearby areas. But, I doubt whether the radiation can be so high,” he said.
Greenpeace minced no words in stating AERB had done a shoddy job and added the area could have been rid of radiation by removing the contaminated soil. The organisation also claimed the equipment it used to detect the radiation were not different from the AERB’s.
An AERB official later said a team of scientists would conduct a survey of Mayapuri industrial area on Saturday to trace any signs of radiations.
The Cobalt-60 found in Mayapuri was traced to a Delhi University chemical lab in April.
Karuna Raina, Greenpeace’s nuclear energy campaigner, said the organisation had decided to conduct the survey after AERB claimed of having cleaned the area of Cobalt-60 radiation in first week of May.