Samut Prakan radiation accident

  • Cobalt-60

    • was officially discovered by Georg Brandt in 1735
    • the first metal to be discovered since the pre-historical period
    • John Livingood and Glenn Seaborg discovered cobalt-60.
    • a radioactive isotope of cobalt, is an important source of gamma rays.
    • Half-life: 5.27 years. All of the remaining radioactive isotopes have half-lifes that are less than 18 hours.
  • The world's first cancer treatment

    The world's first cancer treatment
    • The first cancer treatment with Cobalt-60 radiation took place at Victoria Hospital.
    • Cobalt-60 is widely used in external beam radiotherapy (teletherapy) machines.
    • Cobalt-60 produced a beam of gamma rays which was directed into the patient's body to kill tumor tissue.
  • neutron radiography non destructive testing

    neutron radiography non destructive testing
    • cobalt-60 was used in neutron radiography non-destructive testing.
    • to inspect material and component defects and degradation in material properties.
    • provide a cost-effective alternative meeting or exceeding regulatory requirements for radiation source encapsulations.
  • food irradiation

    food irradiation
    • cobalt-60 is used for foods for sterilization (cold pasteurization)
    • Disinfestation without affecting the taste of the spices
    • Phytosanitary: Low doses of gamma are effective in eliminating the risk of introducing foreign insects to other countries.
  • Samut Prakan radiation accident

    Samut Prakan radiation accident
    • The device involved in the accident was a Gammatron-3 teletherapy unit, manufactured by Siemens of Germany. It was originally exported to Thailand in 1969.
    • The device was stored at the parking lot of KSE company and was stolen on October 1999
    • a source of 196 TBq (5300 Ci) was installed. At the time of the accident, the activity was estimated to be 15.7 TBq (425 Ci).
  • Samut Prakan radiation accident

    Samut Prakan radiation accident
    +Group 1 from patient 1 - patient 4 purchased some scrap metal, including a piece of a teletherapy head, and brought it home to disassemble for sale.
    + They only succeeded in breaking the weld seam, at which point they observed an oily substance seeping out. However, they could see the lead inside the stainless steel container.
  • Samut Prakan radiation accident

    Samut Prakan radiation accident
    • P1 & P3 brought the lead cylinder to a junkyard located in Samut Prakarn Province.
    • At the junkyard, P5, a junkyard employee, cut open the cylinder with an oxyacetylene torch. P5 saw two metal pieces from inside the cylinder fall to the ground. P5 picked up these pieces and weighed them in his hands. These metal pieces were kept at the junkyard.
    • P5 to P10 was working and living at the junkyard.
  • Samut Prakan radiation accident

    Samut Prakan radiation accident
    • P1 started to experience severe headaches and nausea. P3 also felt nauseous. P5 and P6 started to have dizzy, bad headaches, and vomiting. 3–4 February, P6 had looked ill, lost his appetite and lost weight, and had a sunburn type on his skin 12 February, P1 had developed a burn on his hands, swollen fingers, an itchy palm 16 February, P1 was admitted to the hospital with the symptoms: nausea, vomiting, epilation. His burned hands were swollen and had turned darkened.
  • Samut Prakan radiation accident

    Samut Prakan radiation accident
    Meanwhile, P5 and P6 had been suffering from diarrhea. P5 felt weak and had a fever, lost weight; epilation, and burned hands. Then, admitted to Samut Prakarn Hospital on 16 February.
    On 17 February, P6 was admitted to Samut Prakarn Hospital because of his weakness, weight loss, and hair loss.
    P9 (maid) admitted to Samut Prakarn Hospital for observation
    P7 & P8see a physician at Bangkok General Hospital because of weakness. Blood samples taken showed low white blood cell counts.
  • Samut Prakan radiation accident

    Samut Prakan radiation accident
    P1 and P5 Both had swollen fingers, nauseous, and vomiting.
    P6 showed nausea, and vomiting, and had a low white blood cell count.
    After reviewing the patients' cases, the doctors came to the conclusion that they might have been exposed to ionizing radiation.
    One of the doctors called the Thailand Office of Atomic Energy for Peace (OAEP) on February 18 2020 to report his concern.
    After February 20, 2020, The remaining individuals were hospitalized for radiation effects.
  • Samut Prakan radiation accident

    Samut Prakan radiation accident
    Around 19:00 on 18 February 2000, in the direction of the junkyard, OAEP employees noted a significant increase in radiation levels (about 20 times normal).
    They continued moving through two small back streets for about another 150 m to measure the radiation. A radiation level of about 1 mSv/h was measured at the side entrance of the junkyard,
    At this point, they recognized this was a serious radiological accident and called for assistance
  • Consequence

    Ten people were admitted to the hospital with radiation sickness. GROUP 2 (P5-P8) was estimated to have received the highest doses of over 6 Gy. 3 of them ultimately died of uncontrolled infection and sepsis within two months. The rest was around 2 Gy.
    GROUP 3 = 1,872 people living within 100 meters of the scrapyard were potentially exposed to different levels of ionizing radiation but not significant.
    GROUP 4 = OAEP personnel – the dose did not exceed 32 mSv, as measured by individual TLD.