Overexposure of Workers

Print View Posted on: 10 January 2013

Event Date: 18 October 2012 Event Type: Radiation Source
Event Location: Pakistan, Wajedo International, Karachi INES Rating: 3 (Provisional)

On October 18, 2012, three workers were overexposed during industrial radiography at Phool Nagar near Lahore. The event took place due to detachment of Ir-192 source (67 Ci) which remained stuck in the Guide Tube. The workers could not notice this and loaded the Gamma Projector and Guide Tube in the vehicle and traveled for almost 30 minutes from work site to office while placing the Guide Tube very close to the leg of one worker (‘worker A’ sitting on rear seat of the vehicle). After reaching the office, ‘worker A’ unloaded the Gamma Projector to place it in storage pit. ‘Worker B’ performed radiation survey and found that the source was still in the Guide Tube. ‘Worker B’ and ‘worker C’ (‘worker C’ was not a designated radiation worker) conducted the recovery operation and brought the source to shielded position.
‘Worker A’ reported headache and vomiting within 24 hours and severe burns appeared on his left leg in about 15 days which later developed into open wounds. ‘Worker A’ is currently under medical treatment.
The event came into the knowledge of Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA) by the end of November 2012. The matter was investigated and investigations found certain violations of regulatory requirements and certain steps of safety procedures. PNRA has served work stoppage notice to the company and further actions are under way.
Calculations were made to assess the dose received by the workers. The whole body dose to the ‘worker A’ sitting near to the source in the vehicle is estimated to be 2.02 Sv and for the other two workers sitting at front seats of the vehicle is 0.81 Sv each.

INES Rating: 3 - Serious incident (Provisional) as per 10 January 2013
Release beyond authorized limits? No
Overexposure of a member of the public? Yes
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

Muhammad Usman
Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA)

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