Overxposure of an industrial radiographer

Print View Posted on: 18 November 2013

Event Date: 14 September 2013 Event Type: Other
Event Location: Germany, Refinery, Lingen INES Rating: 3 (Final)

On 14 September 2013 an employee of a company for non-destructive material testing was exposed to high radiation in a refinery in Lower Saxony. The evaluation of the employee's official dosimeter showed a radiation exposure of about four times the statutory annual dose limit for occupationally exposed persons. The affected employee had a whole body exposure of 75 mSv (statutory annual dose limit for occupationally exposed workers is 20 mSv). In addition on the left hand considerable skin redness and burns have occurred. These are signs of exceeding threshold limit for hand and skin at least for a factor 10. According to estimates a skin dose of 10 - 30 Sv (statutory limit 0.5 Sv) is probably.
According to the current state of knowledge, there was a defect in the used gamma radiography device (Ir-192, 740 GBq). There was an offence against basic safety rules during fixing the defect. Furthermore, there were significant delays in reporting the incident to the relevant authorities and the medical care of the employee.

INES Rating: 3 - Serious incident (Final) as per 18 November 2013
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? Yes
Is there a continuing problem? No

Michael Maqua
Gesellschaft für Anlagen und Reaktorsicherheit

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