Specialists of the International Agency for Nuclear Power and attendants of the Georgian Emergencies Department started searching for two strontium rechargeable batteries that were lost in the region at the end of the 1980s. The area of the search zone is 550 square kilometers. The operation started four months after four people complained of serious indisposition: they suffered from radioactive poisoning after they found objects that radiated strontium-90.
Eight strontium rechargeable batteries were delivered to Georgia at the beginning of the 1980s for the construction of two hydro-electric stations. The batteries were meant for communication purposes. Six of them were found and neutralized. The remaining two batteries were found in the woods at the end of last year by three local citizens. They tried to separate the lead coating of the container and were exposed to a high level of radiation as a result.
Over 280 radiation sources have been detected in the former Soviet republic of Georgia since the middle of the 1990s, some of them were left on the territory of the republic after the withdrawal of Soviet troops. The International Agency for Nuclear Power has been cooperating with Tbilisi since 1997. However, as the specialists of the agency say, Georgia is not the only country where abandoned, dangerous sources of radiation might be located. The director of the agency said that the situation in the republic of Georgia could only testify to the fact that more serious security issues might exist in other regions of the world.
Egor Belorus PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov