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The World

October 15, 1987

Brazil's top nuclear official said that people who die from exposure to a radioactive capsule broken open in a junkyard will be buried in sealed coffins. Forty-one people have been hospitalized with radiation sickness. Ten are at a navy hospital in Rio de Janeiro, and doctors say half of them have only a minimal chance to survive. "They would be buried in coffins with a special seal on the inside so there would be no risk of contaminating the environment," Rex Nazare, president of the national Nuclear Energy Commission, said. The lead-encased capsule containing radioactive cesium 137, used for treating cancer, was taken from the defunct Goiania Institute of Radiotherapy, 850 miles northwest of Rio, last month and sold for scrap.

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