A FULL scale operation was launched by the emergency services last night after radioactive material was found at a property in Tadley.

Two fire crews from the Basingstoke fire station, a crew from Redbridge, in Southampton, and a crew from Tadley and Alton were dispatched to the scene in Giles Road, in Tadley at 8.36pm last night following the discovery of radioactive material in a garden shed.

In addition, three specialist Hampshire Fire and Rescue units were sent to the scene, including an environmental protection unit from Alton and a detection, identification and monitoring unit from Winchester.

A hazardous area response team and two ambulances from the South Central Ambulance Service were also sent to the scene to assess three people as a precautionary measure. No one was taken to hospital.

The occupiers of the property called the emergency services just after 8.30pm after they discovered a canister displaying a radioactive material sign in a garden shed.

As a precautionary measure, a 45 metre cordon was set up and 16 properties were evacuated whilst crews from the specialist units investigated the suspected radioactive material.

The canister was then collected by a team from the Atomic Weapons Establishment.

Brian Rudman, group manager said: “There was some material found but we were able to detect it. The levels of radiation were low and there was limited danger to anyone. It was a small canister which contained a radioactive substance.”