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Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England

Fortune Metals

Fortune Metals

The RI Department of Environmental Management asked for EPA’s help overseeing and cleaning up at Fortune Metals in Lincoln, RI, and to evaluate other metal recycling facilities that may have shipped radioactive material to the company.

On September 8, 2009, a radiation source was discovered while surveying a pile of aluminum scrap metal at the Fortune Metals facility. Subsequent investigation revealed that the source was a static eliminator bar made of aluminum and coated with radium 226. These bars are used to remove static from paper during the manufacturing process.  Preliminary radiation surveys suggest that most of the radium coating on the aluminum bar had fallen off during handling at other locations before being delivered to Fortune Metals.

The company hired a radiation cleanup contractor who has surveyed the facility, secured the aluminum bar containing radium, segregated the pile of metal that contained the radium bar, and developed a survey/clean+up plan to mitigate the radiation contamination at the facility. The RI Department of Health, Emergency Management, and DEM provided oversight of these activities.

During discussions with Fortune Metals, the company identified four potential scrap metal facilities from which the static eliminator bar may have originated. These facilities are located in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts. The radiation organizations from those states have evaluated the suspected facilities and no radioactive contamination has been identified.

Location: Lincoln, RI
Start date: 09/08/2009
End date: 09/18/2009
Contact: Claudia Deane (deane.claudia@epa.gov)

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