Exposure of industrial radiographer

Print View Posted on: 18 May 2022

Event Date: 05 May 2022 Event Type: Radiation Source
Event Location: Belgium, Antwerp Region INES Rating: 2 (Final)

During the quality control of the welds of a newly installed piping, the radiographer performing the operations was exposed to the radiation of a 737 GBq Se-75 source during a short period of time (approximately between 60 and 90 seconds). During the removal of the collimator, the radiographer did not realise that the source was still present in the collimator instead of safely retracted in the source container. His electronic dosimeter did not respond (due to battery failure) and he also omitted to use an area survey meter to acknowledge the absence of radiation. The electronic dosimeter of the assistant radiographer gave an alarm when approaching the device and hence could warn the radiographer of the danger. The passive dosimeter of the radiographer was read out and revealed a dose of 13.8 mSv, i.e. below statutory limits. Dose estimations for the hands revealed no levels giving rise to deterministic effects and this was also confirmed by further medical examination. The source was retrieved without any damage in the source container and nobody from the public was exposed. The origin of the event lies in the human errors of the operator, not following all the safety measures foreseen for this activity.

INES Rating: 2 - Incident (Final) as per 17 May 2022
Release beyond authorized limits? No
Overexposure of a member of the public? No
Overexposure of a worker? No

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

Degradation of Defence In-Depth Yes

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

Simon Coenen
Federal Agency for Nuclear Control (FANC)

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