Studsvik Nuclear AB -- Continued Review of Routines for Shipment of Radioactive Isotopes


STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Feb. 8, 2002 (PRIMEZONE) -- As announced earlier, a shipment from Studsvik (Stockholm:SVIK) containing Iridium-192 displayed an increased level of radiation when measured by the recipient in New Orleans, La., in the United States.

The container has now been opened in the presence of Studsvik's personnel and inspectors from the Swedish Radiation Protection Institute. The inspection of the container revealed that two of the three inner containers with Iridium-192 were open and the radiation was therefore able to penetrate the outer container's radiation shielding.

Inspection of the transport package shows that Studsvik was faulty in handling the radioactive material, due to the fact that the inner containers for the shipment from Studsvik were not sealed in the proper manner. Studsvik also determined that a similar incident occurred in an earlier shipment, but without increased radiation being detected.

This occurrence has resulted in Studsvik initiating a continuing overview of work routines and quality system in conjunction with the shipment and handling of radioactive elements. This work will be carried out in close cooperation with the authorities involved.

It is the company's ambition that new, stricter routines will be initiated in the near future. Restrictions on Iridium-192 shipments remain until it is ensured that transportation can be made in a fully secured manner.

"Studsvik is eager to retain its stamp as a quality supplier. This incident emphasizes the importance of continuous quality assurance efforts and an increased level of ambition," says Sten-Olof Andersson, President of Studsvik Nuclear AB:

Facts about Studsvik

Studsvik is a high-tech company, focusing on the nuclear power industry and nuclear medicine. Business is conducted through four Strategic Business Units (SBUs): Nuclear Technology, Waste & Decommissioning, Industrial Services and Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear Technology offers products and services related to nuclear power plant operation. These include the testing and analysis of nuclear fuel and materials, computer codes for reactor operation, and consulting. Activities are dependent on Studsvik's nuclear reactors and specialist laboratories, located outside Nykoping.

Waste & Decommissioning

Waste & Decommissioning treats low- and intermediate-level waste from nuclear reactors and provides services for the dismantling of nuclear facilities. European operations focus on the treatment of low-level waste in Studsvik's incineration and melting facilities located outside Nykoping. U.S. operations, conducted at Studsvik's facilities in Erwin, Tenn., include volume and weight reduction of ion-exchange resins from commercial nuclear power plants in the U.S.

Industrial Services

Industrial Services mainly provides services to the nuclear power industry and also offers services to other industries. Operations include decontamination, health physics/personal dosimetry, chemical cleaning and dismantling of nuclear facilities as well as process cleaning. Activities have historically been concentrated to Sweden. However, since the German company, SINA, was acquired in 1998, the German business accounts for more than a half of the SBU's income.

Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear Medicine provides a number of nuclear-related products and methods for medical use. The range includes a method for the treatment of brain tumors and a number of radioisotopes.

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