Decision on disposal of substance expected

A DECISION will be taken todayon how best to dispose of a test-tube containing a radioactive substance which was taken into a fire station.The test tube was taken into Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service headquarters in Ipswich's Colchester Road by a woman last Friday who claimed it contained uranium.

Anthony Bond

A DECISION will be taken todayon how best to dispose of a test-tube containing a radioactive substance which was taken into a fire station.

The test tube was taken into Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service headquarters in Ipswich's Colchester Road by a woman last Friday who claimed it contained uranium.

She found it at her father's home, who is now a retired physicist living in a care home.


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It sparked a major chemical incident which led to specialist firefighters being deployed as far a field as Haverhill. A health physicist from Sizewell A nuclear power station attended the scene and confirmed that it was radioactive. However it was not deemed to be a risk to the public.

A team from the Environment Agency (EA) will todayvisit the fire station where the test-tube is being held in a steel safe.

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Rita Penman, a spokeswoman for the EA, said scientists from Sizewell A tested the substance and determined it was not dangerous and handed responsibility to the Environment Agency for its disposal.

She said: “We will go and test it and find out exactly what its elements are and once we have done that then we can determine where it needs to go. Based on what we find with a further examination we will decide where the best place to dispose of it is.”

In total 25 firefighters worked on the incident and the Sidegate Lane entrance to the fire station was sealed off.

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