Contamination of workers during inspection

Print View Posted on: 05 October 2011

Event Date: 04 October 2011 Event Type: Radiation Waste Facility
Event Location: Belgium, Belgoprocess INES Rating: 2 (Final)

During the annual inspection of the fissile material inventory by members from EURATOM and IAEA, a recipient containing a small amount of plutonium fell on the floor, causing a contamination of the room and part of the adjacent rooms. Three people - the 2 inspectors from EURATOM and IAEA and 1 worker from Belgoprocess- have been contaminated by the incident. They were all immediately transferred to a specialised lab for external decontamination as well as for the verification and treatment of internal contamination.
Effective doses related to the external contamination of the 3 persons are very low. The committed doses over 50 years due to the internal contamination are below the statutory limits of 20 mSv.
Further measurements for internal contamination are on-going to get more accurate data and to confirm the first measurements.
No radioactivity has been released outside the building and hence the incident had no effect on the environment or people from the public.

INES Rating: 2 - Incident (Final) as per 05 October 2011
Release beyond authorized limits? No
Overexposure of a member of the public? No
Overexposure of a worker? No

Contamination spread within the facility? Yes
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

Simon Coenen
Federal Agency for Nuclear Control - FANC

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