Experts identify radioactive cesium in the toilet of Asse employees
During a check in the Asse final position, experts found radioactive cesium in the employees' toilet. Environmentalists have been criticizing the conditions in the dilapidated repository in Asse, Lower Saxony, for years. According to the operators, there is no danger to employees or residents.
Carcinogenic cesium identified
According to the repository operator, an increased concentration of the radioactive and carcinogenic substance cesium was found during a routine check of the faeces in the toilet containers in the shaft system. So far, it is still unknown how the substance got there. Jens Köhler, Managing Director of Asse, told the Braunschweiger Zeitung: "We don't know how the cesium got into the container". Despite the ignorance, the managing director insists that there is no health risk for the employees on site or for the surrounding population.
Third party debt is assumed
However, the operating company assumes that the radioactive finds cannot be explained by natural causes. The measured values were measured with 20 becquerels per liter. That is "twice as much as the legally permitted amount". However, the values are significantly lower than the radioactive salt solutions in the mine. Because external debt cannot be ruled out, the operating company filed a criminal complaint against unknown persons. "According to the current status, the cesium can only get into the toilet through negligent or willful action," said Köhler. The police and prosecutors will now take over the investigation.
Twelve thousand liters of water penetrate every day
Every day, around 12,000 liters of water penetrate the defective Asse nuclear waste repository from the outside. Environmentalists predict that the salt mine may collapse soon. Other experts also assume that the system could collapse. For this reason, the Federal Government has ordered that around 126,000 weakly radioactive barrels containing nuclear waste be recovered and transported away. (sb)
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