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© RIA Novosti. Andrey Rudakov

Moscow bank issues radioactive money to pensioner

by at 02/10/2012 15:08

A local pensioner has accidentally found out that money she brought home from a Moscow bank was highly radioactive.

Yelena Kryzhanovskaya, 61, said she went to a bank on Bulvar Admirala Ushakova on Sept. 22, where she withdrew 50,000 rubles from her account. When she returned home and she hid the 10 5,000 rubles notes under her pillow, where they remained for two days, Moskovsky Komsomolets reported.

“I have a domestic radiation meter, I bought it just in case, to check produce,” the woman said. “And when I turned it on, I saw it was through the roof. I started walking around the flat with it and found the source of the radiation.”

20,000 times higher than norm

The woman called emergency workers, who determined that the radiation levels were 20,000 times higher than the norm, and was comparable to the dose received after catastrophes at nuclear power stations.

Radiation experts were then called to the flat and examined the money. The radiation level was 8.2 Ra per hour, when the normal level of background radiation is 10-20 micro Ra per hour.

Experts stressed that only the notes were producing the radiation, and they were put in a lead container and taken to a site for the temporary storage of nuclear waste.

“For now, I do not feel that my health has deteriorated in any way,” Kryzhanovskaya said. “But I am constantly nervous. I am very worried.”

The pensioner is also worried when her money will be returned, and aims to write to the State Duma to get her money back and to get compensation for moral and physical damages.

The bank has no idea where they could have obtained the radioactive money, and suspect that it came from an organization working with nuclear materials, said the president of the Association of Regional Banks, Anatoly Aksakov. He also said the money could have been received from a medical institution that works with X-ray equipment.

Radioactive money

It is not rare to find radioactive money in Moscow. In the summer of 2010, 380 notes of various denominations were contaminated with Iodine-131. This isotope’s half-life is eight days, and the money was not considered dangerous to people.

Because all the notes on that occasion were discovered in just one city, experts assumed that they were put into circulation locally.

But small amounts of radioactive money appear regularly. In the last 10 days of September, Radon radiation specialists discovered several “dirty” notes. They were all destroyed.

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