A bucket with jars made of glass and plastic and marked as radioactivity cautioning signs were found by a public administration laborer in Minsk on Thursday. The basin was set close to waste storage at a dumpster in a residential area.
The cautious laborer promptly alarmed crisis administrations, which dispatched a emergency unit to check for radiation exposure. Once the team arrived at the scene, which was sealed off in precaution, they discovered that the level of radiation within one meter (3.2ft) of the bucket was four times higher than normal.
Nonetheless, when they moved two meters (6.5ft) far from there, the radiation had returned to ordinary level again.
The can with the synthetic compounds was expelled from the dumpster and taken to an atomic research centre for testing.
A total of five containers were discovered in the bucket, each weighing 1kg (2.2lb). All of them were used to store different types of uranium waste, including uranyl chloride, uranyl nitrate, uranyl sulfate, and uranium trioxide, an extremely toxic substance.
Police launched an investigation into how the radioactive waste ended up at the dumpster. It turned out that the chemicals had been discarded by a local woman during a routine cleaning of a nearby apartment belonging to her late grandmother, a local chemistry professor. Apparently not sharing the late woman’s knowledge of chemistry, her granddaughter simply took the waste to the dumpster without a second thought.