Treviso, Italy - The accidental melting of “abandoned” radioactive sources – usually called “orphan sources” – with metal scraps can be very dangerous in a steel plant, seriously compromising the use of recycled metal.
As matter of fact, shielded sources do not trigger alarm in radiation portal commonly employed at the entrance of steel industry using scrap metal.
Since several accidents occurred in EU countries, the Council Directive 2003/122/Euratom was issued on 22 December 2003, imposing an obligation to Member States to intensify control of high-activity radioactive sealed sources and “orphan sources” also encouraging development of new technology able to specifically address the problem.
Tecnogamma Spa, the Italian subsidiary of the MERMEC Group, participated to the MuSteel Project that has obtained financing by the European Commission thanks to the Research Fund for Coal and Steel - RFCS.
The MuSteel project aims at applying the muon tomography technique, already positevely tested by the Italian Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare – INFN, to check metal scraps before they enter the furnaces of the steel plants. Tecnogamma will develop the MuSteel project in cooperation with Gruppo AFV Beltrame SpA di Vicenza, with Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN), and Phisics Department of Padova University.