No radioactive materials at BSP sub-contractor’s admin headquarters

National 2 minutes, 45 seconds

BELAIT

NO RADIOACTIVE materials and activities were detected at the administrative headquarters of International Reliability Services Sdn Bhd (IRS) along Jalan Maulana after their neighbours filed a complaint to the authorities.

Brunei Shell Petroleum (BSP) first conducted an inspection to the company’s site on Monday after the complaint was filed and residents took to an online forum to accuse IRS of risking the health of the community by allegedly doing radiographic testing on site.

The inspection was followed by an independent investigation by the Energy and Industry Department at the Prime Minister's Office (EIDPMO) the next day. Yesterday BSP released a statement informing that there are no radio isotopes at the building, confirming that no activities involving radioactive materials had taken place.

Emily Voon from the Radiation Safety and Quality Unit of EIDPMO said the building and its surrounding site were thoroughly tested, noting that IRS has been registered under the unit for several years, allowing their activities and equipment to be continuously monitored.

IRS, a sub-contractor to BSP, specialises in engineering and maintenance inspection and non-destructive testing, which includes radiographic testing. However, BSP and IRS’s management said this is strictly carried out at specific work sites where safety is accounted for, and that the radioactive materials used are stored in a safe and secure location away from residents.

IRS Managing Director Abd Jaman Pg Ali Omar, who maintained that industrial radiography has never been done at their administrative building, said they took the online post “very seriously” as it could potentially tarnish the company’s reputation.

“We do not object to them filing a complaint to the authorities – but posting online to accuse the company of risking the community’s health by doing testing at our administration building without proof is wrong,” he said.

The post, published as a discussion on social networking and news website Reddit on Monday, pointed out a picture on IRS’s website displaying equipment used in radiographic testing at their administration building.

The author added that her sister was recently diagnosed with cancer, and suspects that there is a “strong possibility” that radiographic testing contributed to causing the disease.

The managing director said the photo was a catalogue shot solely for illustration purposes, a statement backed by Voon.

“The pictures were verified as catalogue pictures. As part of the unit’s responsibility to monitor equipment and activities related to radiation in Brunei we keep records and do inspections. There is no evidence based on these records and inspections, that radiographic testing has been done here (at IRS in Jln Maulana),” said Voon.

BSP added that film processing was recorded at the company’s site but confirmed that the process does not involve the use of radioactive materials.

Staff of IRS said a resident had first approached their office last week prior to the online post, inquiring about radiographic testing being carried out.

“We sympathised with him as he informed us about his daughter’s condition, and we assured them that no such testing was being done at the building,” said IRS project secretary Kwan Shau Vai.

In their statement, BSP said the complainant was advised and the matter has been resolved. BSP also encouraged the public to raise any questions or concerns directly to them or EIDPMO at any time.

The Brunei Times