External contamination of a worker leading to exceeding of the annual statutory dose limit

Print View Posted on: 03 April 2023

Event Date: 02 February 2023 Event Type: Power Reactor
Event Location: France, CATTENOM-3 INES Rating: 2 (Final)

On 3 February 2023, ASN was notified by the Cattenom nuclear power plant licensee of a significant radiation protection event concerning the exceeding of an annual individual dose limit by an employee of an EDF contractor.

On 2 February 2023, this worker was reinstalling thermal insulation on valves of various systems in the building of reactor 3, which was shut down for inspection and repair work linked to the stress corrosion phenomenon. The radioactivity check performed on leaving the controlled zone detected skin contamination on the worker's cheek. The worker received immediate medical attention and the radioactive particle causing the contamination was removed.

For workers likely to be exposed to ionising radiation in the course of their professional activity, the annual statutory dose limits for twelve consecutive months are 20 millisieverts for the whole body and 500 millisieverts for a skin surface area of 1 cm².

EDF evaluated the received dose by retracing the path and activity of the worker within the reactor building. This evaluation gives a dose at the worker's cheek exceeding the regulatory limit set for the equivalent dose to the skin. The whole body dose received by the worker, however, is well below the annual statutory dose limit .

INES Rating: 2 - Incident (Final) as per 03 April 2023
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

Julien Husse
Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire (ASN)

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