Search for missing caesium-137 widens as police visit over 20 scrap shops

Police in Prachin Buri has questioned the owners of more than 20 scrap dealerships in the province. None of them claimed to have seen the steel tube containing radioactive caesium-137. Meanwhile, the provincial administration has sought help from neighbouring provinces in the search for dangerous material.

Pol Maj-Gen Vinai Nutcha, the commander of Prachin Buri provincial police, said today (Thursday) that police have checked footage from the surveillance cameras installed outside the power plant, to see if any trucks entered the compound to collect scrap steel, adding that police will question employees of the plant to find out if any of them collected the missing tube.

Prachin Governor Ronnarong Nakornjinda has asked local officials, such as village and sub-district heads in all districts, to tell residents to alert authorities if they came across any steel tube matching the description of the one which has gone missing and to stay away for it.

Cooperation has also been sought from officials in neighbouring provinces.

Employing a drone and radiation detectors, officials from the Office of Atoms for Peace searched a scrap yard in Phanom Sarakham district of Chachoengsao today, which occasionally buys scrap steel from the power plant, but they did not find any trace of radioactive material.

The caesium-137 is believed to have gone missing from the power plant on February 23rd, but officials at the plant only discovered its disappearance during a routine check on March 10th.


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