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An orphan source is a self-contained radioactive source that is no longer under proper regulatory control.
Additional recommended knowledge
The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission defines an orphan source more exactly as:
...a sealed source of radioactive material contained in a small volume--but not radioactively contaminated soils and bulk metals--in any one or more of the following conditions
Orphan sources in the real world
Most known orphan sources were, generally, small radioactive sources produced legitimately under governmental regulation and put into service for radiography, generating electricity in radioisotope thermoelectric generators, medical radiotherapy or irradiation. These sources were then "abandoned, lost, misplaced or stolen" and so no longer subject to proper regulation.
For example, in different incidents, various orphan sources have been:
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Orphan_source". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|