Federal investigators en route to Halifax port after radiation scare

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HALIFAX - Fire officials say an evacuation zone remains in place at a port in Halifax after steel cylinders carrying uranium hexafluoride fell about six metres from inside a container, prompting a radiation scare.

Phil McNulty, the executive fire officer for the city's fire department, says the area is being monitored by emergency crews and investigators with the Canadian Transport Emergency Centre will be arriving later today to conduct a more detailed assessment.

Firefighters had earlier determined there was no leak of radioactive material when four steel cylinders fell from inside a container at one of the city's terminals around 10 p.m. Thursday, landing in a contained area of a ship.

McNulty says there were no injuries and no one was contaminated at the terminal in Fairview Cove in the city's north end.

He says the evacuation area extends about 150 metres and will remain in place until after federal investigators arrive.

Uranium hexafluoride is the chemical compound used in the gas centrifuge process to enrich uranium that is then used as reactor fuel or to arm nuclear missiles.

Organizations: Canadian Transport Emergency Centre

Geographic location: Halifax, Fairview Cove

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