Radioisotope Manufacture Facility – Operator’s hands contaminated

Print View Posted on: 08 January 2021

Event Date: 15 November 2019 Event Type: Irradiation/Accelerator Facility
Event Location: United Kingdom, England, F-18 Cyclotron Facility INES Rating: 2 (Final)

The incident occurred at a cyclotron facility used to produce Flourine-18 for medical purposes. One operator was contaminated during production. Issues with the Cyclotron prompted an employee to investigate a fault resulting in contamination to the extremities. The presence of Flourine-18 on the hands of the operator was noticed after the operation had been completed.
Dose estimates have been made based upon assumptions that were judged as conservative based on operator recollection. The operators observed the contaminated areas for several days post exposure and did not report any skin erythema.
Based on the available information best estimated equivalent doses to skin of the hands were as follows:

Operator 1: 2000 mSv

The annual dose limit for extremities and skin is 500 mSv according to the relevant legislation.

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

Contamination spread within the facility? Yes
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

Ivaylo Evgueniev Stanev
Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR)
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