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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 February 2008, 00:37 GMT
Alert over 'radioactive' packages
Language school incident scene
A police and fire service operation was launched
A language school building in Edinburgh was cordoned off for four hours after three suspected radioactive packages were found in a cupboard.

Emergency services were called to the Regent Language Training School in Chester Street at about 1900 GMT.

It was later confirmed the packages contained educational training items from 1994, which had small amounts of radioactive material in them.

No contamination was found outside the containers.

The fire service and police launched a procedure called National Arrangements for Incidents Involving Radiation.

Eight fire engines and 28 fire service personnel attended the incident.

They're science lab sources used for small experiments that we all did when we were at school
Steven Sansbury
Lothian and Borders fire service

Group manager Steven Sansbury, of Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service said two boxes containing "radioactive sources" were found which were believed to be school science lab materials dating back to 1994.

He said they were identified by a radiation expert from Torness power station who has been liaising with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) about the safe disposal of the material.

"He thinks that they're ex-school science lab sources used for small experiments that we all did when we were at school, so there's no contamination so now we're just all going home," said Mr Sansbury.

He said police rolled out a national plan of action for radiation incidents.

"We assume the worst case scenario and work back from that," said the fireman.

"It's a big example of inter-agency cooperation and everything went fine.

"Had it been a bigger incident - thankfully it wasn't - everything was here ready to go."

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