Thai Authorities Search for Lost Cylinder Containing Radioactive Material

Authorities in Thailand are searching for a cylinder containing the radioactive material caesium-137, which went missing from a power plant in Prachin Buri province on March 10.

Images from the Prachin Buri Provincial Public Relations Office show the missing cylinder, and the factory site it disappeared from.

Local officials said on Tuesday, March 14, that they were offering a 50,000 baht (around $1,500) reward to anyone who was able to find the missing cylinder.

The Thai Office of Atoms for Peace (OAP) said that 15 large scrap metal and iron smelter businesses near to the power plant had been inspected in the search for the cylinder. The public relations office also said it was working with local businesses to make sure it was informed if anyone tried to sell the missing item there.

The lost cylinder was part of equipment used to measure the level of ash in large silo tanks at the power plant, the public relations office said.

Exposure to large amounts of caesium-137 can cause burns, acute radiation sickness, and death, according to the CDC, as well as increasing cancer risk.

The amount of caesium-137 in the lost cylinder should not cause direct harm, Thai officials said, but would take 300 years to decompose on its own, leaving people around it at potential risk. Credit: Prachin Buri Provincial Public Relations Office via Storyful