High radiation found at housing complex near Jakarta

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(Reuters) – The Nuclear Energy Regulatory Agency (Bapeten) issued a statement on Friday telling residents to stay away from a piece of land in Serpong, 43 km south of Jakarta, because it was contaminated. 

Bapeten said it had discovered an elevated level of radioactive isotope Caesium-137 during a routine test for radioactivity in the area at the end of last month, causing alarm among some locals and raising questions about its source.

Indonesia does not have an active nuclear power industry, but a reactor used for research is about 3 km (1.9 miles) away from the site of the contamination.

Bapeten spokesman Abdul Qohhar said that radiation levels had fallen over the weekend because of Bapeten’s decontamination process which included removing soil and cutting down plants. Yesterday,  Indonesia’s nuclear authorities said they would investigate the radioactive contamination of the patch of land and called for calm.

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