PRACHIN BURI: A bulky tube containing radioactive caesium-137, a highly hazardous isotope, is reported missing from the National Power Plant 5A Company facility in Si Maha Phot district of Prachin Buri, police said.
Pol Col Mongkol Thopao, the Si Maha Phot police chief, said that about noon last Friday Kittikhun Pattamakaew, 40, an employee of the company, filed a police complaint.
He said it was learned that day that a tube containing caesium-137 that had been attached to a tower tank of the steam power plant was missing.
He said Mr Kittikhun did not know when the tube went missing or how it broke loose or was removed from the tank. He said only that caesium-137 was hazarous to people who touched or were exposed to it. The tube containing the isotope was about 20 centimetres in diameter.
He worried that if someone had the tube and removed the cover they would be exposed to the hazardous radiation.
Pol Col Mongkol said officials from the Office of Atoms for Peace had examined the factory, They detected no free radioactivity.
Police had checked shops that buy and sell scrap metal, but came up with nothing, he said.
The company has reportedly offered a 50,000 baht reward for information leading to the recovery of the tube of caesium-137.
The isotope is used in industrial gauges that detect the flow of liquids through pipes and in devices to measure the thickness of materials.
The front casing of the lost tube of caesium-137.