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Radiation / Safety Standards

As a member of the The Bureau of International Recycling (BIR), an global recycling industry association, we are following the guideline on Safety regulations.

The “International Atomic Energy Agency” (IAEA) has published its Safety Standard "Control of Orphan Sources and Other Radioactive Material in the Metal Recycling and Production Industries".

This Safety Standard sets out certain responsibilities for all operators in the metal recycling and production industries, besides assigning responsibilities to governments and their regulatory bodies.

Helpfully, the Safety Guide explains how, irrespective of the regulations within any state, radioactive material may become mixed with scrap metal destined for recycling. Radioactive sources are used widely in countries throughout the world in a variety of medical, industrial, research and military applications, and national laws may not have been in force, with the consequence that radioactive sources may be lost from regulatory control and may enter the general environment.

This explanation supports the contention of scrap metal collectors, sorters and processors and the consuming metal works that they expressly do not want radioactive contamination entering their facilities. So when they find and isolate radioactive materials, they not only protect their workers and their facilities but they are providing a service to society by protecting the public and the environment.

For international shipments of scrap metal, the Safety Guide requires that all metal recyclers should provide a statement indicating whether the scrap metal has been subjected to radiation monitoring and the results of this monitoring; and operators of large facilities should conduct appropriate radiation monitoring to determine whether the scrap metal being processed and any resulting products (ingots, metal bars, etc.) and wastes are safe.

Finally the Safety Guide resolves a contentious issue between sellers and buyers of scrap metal by explaining that “A statement from a supplier giving the results of radiation monitoring that has been conducted does not provide an absolute guarantee that the scrap metal does not contain radioactive material, in view of the difficulties of using monitoring equipment to detect and measure radioactivity in scrap metal. Therefore, monitoring of scrap metal entering a facility will still be necessary.”

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Download IAEA's Safety Standards