Batan Indah's groundwater free from radioactive contamination: BAPETEN

Batan Indah's groundwater free from radioactive contamination: BAPETEN

Photo File: An operator of radioactive waste of The National Nuclear Energy Agency (BATAN) checked level of radiation at Radioactive Waste Technology Center (PTLR) in Serpong, Tangerang, Tuesday (June 18, 2019). ANTARA FOTO/Muhammad Iqbal/pd/gtm

The radioactive substance found in the housing complex is Caesium-137, which is frequently used for radiation-based therapy device for treating cancer as well as for industrial purposes
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Nuclear Energy Regulatory Agency (BAPETEN) has affirmed that groundwater in Batan Indah housing complex in Serpong, South Tangerang city, is free from radioactive contamination following a finding of high level of radiation at a vacant land inside the residential area last month.

"We have examined the groundwater at the housing complex, and it is not contaminated by radioactive substance," BAPETEN's first secretary, Hendiyanto said in a statement received in Jakarta, Sunday.

The nuclear watchdog has mapped out five areas within the housing complex with high-level radiation, and the National Nuclear Agency (BATAN) had taken samples of vegetation and soil in the areas to be later checked at the laboratory.

Amid the process, BAPETEN and BATAN have started cleaning the exposed areas at Batan Indah since February 12 to early March.

Besides the clean-up, BATAN is scheduled to conduct a medical test to measure radiation level or whole body counting (WBC) to nine residences today. "The WBC result will be out in the next two days," BATAN's spokesperson, Heru Umbara, said, while clarifying, the radioactive substances found by BAPETEN at the housing complex was not originated from BATAN's reactor.

On Jan 30 to Jan 31, BAPETEN conducted a routine check in several radiation-prone areas, including in the Batan Indah housing complex; Pamulang; Serpong train station; Indonesia Technology Institute (ITI) campus; Puspitek (Center for Science and Technology Research) housing complex; and the Muncul area. During the routine check, BAPETEN found a high level radiation in a vacant land nearby a volleyball court at the Batan Indah housing complex.

Following the finding, on February 7 to 8, a joint team of BAPETEN and BATAN conducted another search for the radiation source.

During the examination, the joint team had removed few radioactive fragments, and according to several tests, the radiation level in the exposed area had decreased. However, the two agencies will continue removing radioactive substance from vegetation and soil, as well as trees in the exposed area.

According to BAPETEN, the radioactive substance found in the housing complex is Caesium-137, which is frequently used for radiation-based therapy device for treating cancer as well as for industrial purposes.

Related news: BATAN's nuclear analysis able to identify air pollutants

Related news: Batan's nuclear technology tour in October-end to enlighten public

Comments