Italy recalls 'radioactive' wood pellets: report

Jun 14, 2009
The wood pellets contained caesium 137
A 'radioactive' sign is seen during a protest in Moscow. An Italian court has ordered the recall of 10,000 tonnes of wood fuel pellets imported from Lithuania over fears that they could have dangerous levels of radioactivity.

An Italian court has ordered the recall of 10,000 tonnes of wood fuel pellets imported from Lithuania over fears that they could have dangerous levels of radioactivity, newspapers reported on Sunday.

The alarm was raised after someone in the northern Aosta Valley region, who had bought the pellets, sent them for analysis because they did not burn well.

The results showed that they contained caesium 137, a highly toxic radioactive substance normally produced by a nuclear explosion or from the combustion of a nuclear reactor.

The contaminated pellets themselves are not dangerous to humans, said Salvatore Aprile of the Aosta Valley court: the dangers comes from the ashes and the smoke produced when they are burned. The court ordered their recall on Saturday.

The at the centre of the alert were imported from Lithuania last autumn and were sold in 11 regions in the north and south of Italy.

(c) 2009 AFP

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User comments : 4

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Nik_2213
1 / 5 (1) Jun 14, 2009
Go for the glow !!
Ronan
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 14, 2009
...That's an odd element for them to be contaminated with, though. Where did this wood come from, anyway? Has someone been sneaking into the forest around Chernobyl and cutting down radioactive trees?
Soylent
1.8 / 5 (4) Jun 14, 2009
Everything is radioactive and radioactivity is one of the easiest things to measure. You can even measure barium-133 in childrens teeth from atmospheric nuclear testing done 30 years ago(it's much less than background radiation from carbon-14, potassium-40, radon etc. but it's still rather trivial to take an x-ray spectrum and identify the Ba-133).

The only possible reason for not giving the number of becquerels/kg of Cs-137 found in the wood is that this has nothing to do with radiation and everything to do with protectionism.
omatumr
3.5 / 5 (2) Jun 14, 2009
CAESIUM-137, A LONG LIVED FISSION PRODUCT

This long-lived fission product (half-live = 30 years) is likely from the accidental release of radioactivity at Chernobyl.

In the environment Caesium (Cs) follows the chemistry of two elements that are abundant in living creatures, Sodium (Na) and Potassium (K).

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
http://www.omatumr.com/


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