Radioactive metal discovered at Azovstal company in Ukraine


On 5 June 2009, a railroad car carrying scrap metal that emitted radiation was stopped by import security for Azovstal, a metal and steel works company in the Donetsk region of Ukraine. The car was moved to a different railway track for inspection. An inter-agency commission inspected the car, identified the part of metal scrap that emitted radiation and removed it for disposal.

The wagon load, which originated in Zaporozhye, Ukraine, weighed approximately 60 tons and emitted background radiation levels of 54-64 microroentgen/ hour. The permissible level of background radiation for cargo transport within Ukraine is 30-50 microroentgen/ hour. The Ukrainian company Radon will be supervising the removal and burial of the contaminated scrap metal. [1]

Azovstal uses the Kordon radiation detection system, comprised of two parts: an LED radiometer and a monitor for neutron and gamma radiation, both of which measure various levels of pollution. [2]
This is the first radioactive discovery of this kind to occur at Azovstal in 2009; however, in 2008 three such occurrences were recorded. Reportedly, in one of these instances in 2008, a railroad car carrying radioactive material was stopped and the material removed.  {Entered PH}

Abstract Number:  20090160
Headline:  Radioactive metal discovered at Azovstal company in Ukraine
Date:  5 June 2009
Bibliography:  “Na ‘Azovstali’ obnaruzhili radioaktivnyy metall,” Donbass UA, 9 June 2009,
Material:  Scrap metal


[1] “Na ‘Azovstal’ pribyl radioaktivnyy metallolom” [“Radioactive Scrap Metal Arrives at Azovstal”], KID News, 09 June 2009,
[2] “Na ‘Azovstali’ obnaruzhili radioaktivnyy metall” [“Radioactive metal found at Azovstal”], Donbass UA, 09 June 2009.


June 5, 2009

This article is part of a collection examining reported incidents of nuclear or radioactive materials trafficking in or originating from the Newly Independent States.

This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors, officers, employees, or agents. Copyright 2017.