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Catalogue to Help Countries Track "Orphan" Radioactive Sources

Catalogue Helps Identity Orphaned Radioactive Sources

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Vital information to help Member States identify abandoned or spent radioactive sources has been compiled in an IAEA database, delegates were told in a briefing this afternoon. The "International Catalogue of Sealed Radioactive Source and Devices" contains information on upwards of 5000 different types of radioactive sources, 4000 radioactive devices and over 1000 manufacturers or suppliers.

Vast amounts of data held in the Catalogue are used to unlock clues as to the identity of an unknown source. Using limited information such as what the radioactive source looks like, or a serial number, the Catalogue delivers the identity of the most likely source or device.

Those set to benefit from the Catalogue include regulators, emergency response teams, professionals dealing with orphan sources, law enforcement organizations, customs authorities, users of sources, scrap yards and metal productions plants, and waste management teams.

The IAEA is now using the Catalogue to help answer inquiries by Member States on a case-by-case basis as to the identity of particular radioactive sources, devices or manufacturers. The IAEA is currently defining the policy for the dissemination of the Catalogue, which is expected to launch in December 2004.