School in Edinburgh, Scotland sealed off; put on radioactive alert

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Plutonium, seen in a much larger sample.

A school located in Edinburgh, Scotland was sealed off on Wednesday night after reports of several packages containing radioactive materials were found on the school grounds. Reports say that the packages, in one box, were marked as plutonium, radium and strontium. The packages were later discovered to be just low risk material used in regular school experiments and the alert was called off.

The areas surrounding the Regent Language Training School were sealed off as officials investigated the packages.

Emergency services were called after someone cleaning cabinets found the packages, which were marked as being radioactive. Fire officials believe that the boxes were likely inside cabinets for several years.

"We do know they had been there for a considerable time. Somebody discovered them as they were cleaning out a cupboard. The discovery was made earlier this evening," said Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service manager, Jim Fraser who also stated that "There's no intelligence to suggest anything bad. There are signs on the packages suggesting that they contain radioactive materials, but most schools have these sorts of materials for chemistry experiments and that sort of thing and it's really, really low risk."

There were no students inside the building and no evacuations have been made at this time, but it is not yet known exactly how many people were inside the school when officials responded.