Police investigate radioactive waste found inside housing complex

Police investigate radioactive waste found inside housing complex

A spokesman of the Indonesian Police, Brig.Gen Raden Prabowo Argo Yuwono. (ANTARA/Anita Permata Dewi/sh)

We are communicating with Batan over (the impact of) this radiation from the waste
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Police are working in coordination with the National Nuclear Energy Agency (BATAN) to investigate radioactive waste found inside the Batan Indah housing complex in Serpong, South Tangerang City.

"We are communicating with Batan over (the impact of) this radiation from the waste," the Indonesian Police spokesman, Brig. Gen Raden Prabowo Argo Yuwono, said here on Monday.

The police deployed a joint forensic laboratory team, Gegana --a unit of the police mobile brigade specialized in bomb defusing, chemical and radioactive handling-- and the Police Criminal Investigation Unit (Bareskrim) to investigate the case.

From Jan 30 to 31, the Indonesian Nuclear Energy Regulatory Agency (BAPETEN) conducted a routine check in several radiation-prone areas, including in the Batan Indah housing complex, Pamulang, Serpong train station, Indonesia Technology Institute campus, Puspitek housing complex, and the Muncul area.

During the routine check, BAPETEN found a high level of radiation inside a vacant plot of land next to a volleyball court at the Batan Indah housing complex.

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

During the examination, the joint team had removed a 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 substances from the 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 devices for treating cancer, as well as for industrial purposes.

BAPETEN affirmed that the groundwater in the Batan Indah housing complex is free from radioactive contamination following the high-level radiation found on the vacant land inside the residential area last month. Related news: Batan Indah's groundwater free from radioactive contamination: BAPETEN
Related news: Minister: no report of Indonesians contaminated by radioactive substances


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