IAEA experts help to secure dangerous radioactive sources in Georgia

All three suffered “serious injuries” after finding the unshielded cylindrical sources, which are about the size of a person’s hand, in a remote part of Georgia last month, according to the Agency.Responding to a request for assistance from the Georgian authorities, the Agency sent in expert teams earlier this month to help safely retrieve and transport the sources to a secure interim storage site.This is not the first time that discarded, or “orphan,” radioactive sources have been found in Georgia, and experts warn that many others remain lost, abandoned or otherwise outside of regulatory control. The latest incident in Georgia has heightened concerns over the safety and security of radiation sources not only there but elsewhere, according to the IAEA, which is moving to further strengthen its security-related programmes and assistance services. Efforts are under way to reduce threats from potential acts of nuclear terrorism and to upgrade the Agency’s programmes for the security of nuclear material, radioactive sources and nuclear facilities. read more