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How to act when you find a radiation source?

Any activity after the discovery of a radiation source depends on the type of detected radiation source.

If 99% of people can identify an explosive in case they find it and act accordingly (they do not touch it, move away, call an emergency number), then it is difficult to identify whether the risk exists in terms of a radiation source and in most cases, it is only possible by means of the radiological label or special measuring instruments.

If the source is detected without shielding, with shielding or an empty shielding container, one must immediately leave the detection site.

Then, it is vital to immediately notify:

  • the Rescue Board (telephone 112),
  • the Environmental Inspectorate (telephone 1313) or
  • the Radiation Department of the Environmental Board (telephone (+372) 6644 900).




This is necessary, because the radiation source can be harmful to both humans and the environment.

Broken radiation source may cause pollution to spread on a wider area until it is defused, therefore, it is essential to defuse as quickly as possible. If the location of the source is difficult to be detected, it must be distinctively marked.

The information provided to the Rescue Board, the Environmental Inspectorate or the Environmental Board must be clear and unambiguous:

  • source location (settlement name closest to the source location);
  • which signs the assumption is based on that it is a radiation source;
  • name and contact details of the person who called.





Last updated: 22 March 2018

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