Overexposure to Radiation worker

Print View Posted on: 30 July 2012

Event Date: 12 October 2011 Event Type: Radiation Source
Event Location: United States of America, Petrochemical Inspection Services, Texas INES Rating: 2 (Final)

The licensee-radiographer, climbed a ladder to remove the guide tube from an SA Model 880 radiography camera, which contained a 1.8 TBq (49.3 curie) Ir-192 source. The radiography camera was suspended by a rope. As he did this, another employee walked by and noticed that the survey meter, which was on the ground, had pegged off scale. He communicated this to the radiographer on the ladder who then realized the source was not retracted into the camera, but was still in the guide tube. He then climbed down the ladder and retracted the source. The licensee immediately sent his badge for processing. The result was a whole-body dose of 42 mSv (4.2 rem), which brought his total for the year to 52 mSv (5.2 rem). Furthermore, as a result of the licensee’s investigation, it was determined that the radiographer also received an estimated dose 580 mSv (58 rem) to his left hand, which had been on the guide tube. This was consistent with the estimated extremity dose calculation performed by the State of Texas, who is the regulatory authority.

The licensee has indicated that 580 mSv (58 rem) is the final, calculated dose to the radiographer's hands. The State of Texas has closed out its investigation of this event.

INES Rating: 2 - Incident (Final) as per 07 December 2011
Release beyond authorized limits? No
Overexposure of a member of the public? No
Overexposure of a worker? Yes

Contamination spread within the facility? No
Damage to radiological barriers (incl. fuel damage) within the facility? No

Degradation of Defence In-Depth No

Person injured physically or casualty? No
Is there a continuing problem? No

Dr. Cynthia Jones
Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)

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