NEW YORK A cabinet containing radioactive scrap might have been accidentally picked up for recycling, according to the Canadian research and teaching hospital that lost the material.
Sunnybrook Research Institute in Toronto is working with local scrapyards to try to locate the material, discovered missing in a routine audit March 21.
"We have followed up with the company we use for recycling these items, as well as the two scrap metal yards where the cabinet could have been placed. But the record keeping does not make note of specific items, so we are uncertain if the items are there," Michael Julius, vice president of research at the institute, said in a statement.
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has been notified. "We are continuing to work with the CNSC and others to explore all options to locate the missing items," Julius said.
Americium 241 almost half the size of a dime housed in a locked lead and steel container is among the missing items. The CNSC has ranked it as a category five risk, the lowest risk ranking.
"This represents a very low risk to the health and safety of the public, workers and the environment," a CNSC spokesman told AMM.