After radiation scare in Jersey City, all clear at recycling center
Jun 02, 2014 | 1016 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
JERSEY CITY -- Reports of a radiation leak from a container at a Jersey City recycling facility last week turned out to be false, and came out due to a malfunctioning detecting device, said officials from Sims Metal Management, which operates facility.

“ This started with what SMM believes was an erroneous detection by the radiation detector of the inbound scale at our Claremont Terminal metal recycling facility in Jersey City for an empty shipping container being dropped off at the facility,” said Scott Miller, chief corporate counsel for Sims. “The reason for SMM’s belief that the detection was erroneous was that a subsequent check showed no radiation detection using a hand held radiation detection unit.”

He said there was no hazardous material leak

“A local shipping container supplier was delivering an empty overseas container to the facility. This container set off the inbound scale radiation detector. On occasion something will set off the detector, sometimes in error,” he said. “Per the facility’s standard procedure, the facility ran the container more than once across the scale, which set off the detector’s alarm each time. Then the facility ran the hand held detector across the entire container, which showed no detectable radiation. Regardless, the facility rejected the container, per standard procedure.”

The facility contacted the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection in order to get permission to remove the container.

“At that point, not per standard procedure and for reasons not known to SMM, NJDEP contacted the local fire department,” Miller said. “The fire department responded with a hazmat response team which we understand shut down Linden Avenue East leading into and out of the facility for more than an hour. The road and facility only recently reopened to traffic. SMM is not aware of any findings of concern by the Jersey City Fire Dept hazmat team as a result of its response action.”

Police, fire and ambulance services were on sight, and the entrance to the facility was blocked for a time. City officials, however, referred media to the company for comment. -- By Al Sullivan

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