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Dangerous Radioactive Pipe Found in Sofia Suburb

Date: 27.07.2009

A pipe with radium particles, emanating radiation 200 times above the safety level, has been found near an apartment building in Sofia's Buhovo suburb.

The radioactive ampoule was located 50 cm below ground and is already removed and dismantled, while the authorities are investigating how the small metal pipe ended in a populated residential area very close to a playground.

The radiation was discovered accidently by the ecologist of the nearby steel mill Kremikovtsi, who had the habit to always carry a radiation meter.

The ecologist had been taking a walk in the area when the tool alarmed him something was terribly wrong. The radiation has been so high that the startled man immediately notified the authorities, who showed quick reaction and sealed off the area.

According to Marina Nizamska, employee of the Bulgarian Agency for Nuclear Regulation, the pipe most likely has been there since the time when uranium was extracted in the area. The mine was closed 15 years ago, meaning the radiation had been around the unsuspecting Buhovo residents for all these years.

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