A highly radioactive beam was emitted from a protective flask as it was driven 130 miles, for three hours, across northern England on a lorry, a court heard yesterday....The flask belonging to AEA Technology was being used to transport a piece of decommissioned cancer treatment equipment from Cookridge Hospital, Leeds, to the Sellafield complex, Cumbria on March 11, 2002.The radiation dose rates reportedly "were in the order of 100 to 1,000 times above what would normally be considered a very high dose rate and measurement was beyond the capabilities of normal hand-held monitoring equipment." The company responsible for handling the cask's transport, AEA Technology, "a privatised arm of the UK Atomic Energy Authority," has allegedly admitted to a series of recent safety breaches. The company was due to be fined in a court proceeding in connection with an earlier safety violations, but the court has delayed setting the final judgment in light of this new incident.
A judge was told how the container was "found to be emitting a narrow beam of radiation, of a very high dose rate, vertically down from that package base". [read full article]
More details at The Australian and BBC News Online.