Radiological alarm raised at weigh station |

Radiological alarm raised at weigh station

An empty uranium container triggered the radiological alarm Thursday at the California Highway Patrol Truckee weigh station, but was later determined to be within legal limits.

At about 5:30 p.m., the weigh station’s alarm was triggered by a load aboard a big rig, said CHP Officer Yolanda Nemeth.

“The detector indicated that there was radioactive material on-board,” Nemeth said.

“It was a UPS load being shipped by a contract carrier. It was an empty uranium container, and it was a legal load. The detector was set off by residue.”

The detector, called an adaptable radiation area monitor, can detect radiation signatures from different chemicals, not just radioactive materials, Nemeth said.

Truckee Fire Protection District and Nevada County Health Services were contacted by CHP after the alarm sounded.

“It didn’t set off the safety alarm, just the radiological,” Nemeth said. “The measurements were within the legal limits.”

Truckee fire’s hazardous materials unit arrived at 6:30 p.m., staged and monitored the scene at the west end of the scales, said Gene Welch, public information officer with Truckee fire.

Nemeth said the driver didn’t have the appropriate paperwork, but it was later faxed to the weigh station.

The truck was held until the paperwork could be verified and the inspection completed. It was released at 8:54 p.m., Nemeth said.

“It was all normal procedure,” she said. “No one was exposed to radiation.”

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