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Jakarta Post

More radioactive substances found at South Tangerang housing complex

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, March 14, 2020   /   12:40 pm
More radioactive substances found at South Tangerang housing complex Officers remove soil that was exposed to radioactive Caesium-137 at the Batan Indah housing complex in Serpong, South Tangerang, Banten, on Feb. 16. The Nuclear Energy Supervisory Agency (BAPETAN), together with the National Nuclear Energy Agency (BATAN), took up to 20 days to decontaminate the places. (JP/Dhoni Setiawan )

The National Police’s criminal investigation department (Bareskrim) discovered more radioactive materials at the Batan Indah housing complex in South Tangerang, Banten, on Friday – one month after authorities made a similar discovery in the same residential area.

A Bareskrim director Brig. Gen. Agung Budijono said the radioactive materials containing Caesium-137 and other radioactive isotopes had been found in a house owned by a late-National Nuclear Energy Agency (Batan) employee identified as Gangsar.

The house was now occupied by his daughter who knew nothing about the substances, Agung said as reported by kompas.com. The substances were found in the house’s storeroom.

“The house is located in Blok F of the Batan Indah housing complex. We discovered them during a patrol,” Agung said, as quoted by kompas.com.

Read also: Two people living in South Tangerang exposed to radioactive waste: Nuclear agency

Bareskrim has named a Batan employee identified only as SM as a suspect of illegal ownership of radioactive substances following the discovery of the substances by the Nuclear Energy Regulatory Agency (Bapeten) in February.

The agency first detected high levels of radiation at the housing complex during a routine check in late January. On Feb. 7 and Feb. 8, a joint team of officials from Bapeten and Batan discovered several radioactive materials on a vacant lot next to a volleyball court in the housing complex.

The fragments contained Caesium-137, which is commonly used for industrial purposes.

Not long after that, Bapeten and the police found late last month radioactive substances at SM’s house. Police found that the Batan employee had opened a decontamination service for extra income.

SM was charged with violating Articles 42 and 43 of the 1997 Nuclear Energy Law, which carries a maximum punishment of two years of imprisonment and a Rp 100 million (US$6,885) fine. (vny)