Exposure to Hands of Quality Control Analyst

Print View Posted on: 03 October 2017

Event Date: 22 August 2017 Event Type: Radioisotope Processing/Handling Facility
Event Location: Australia, Australian Nuclear Science & Technology Org INES Rating: 3 (Final)

A QC analyst, according to routine procedure, attempted to de-cap a crimped seal of a vial containing 4.5GBq of Mo-99 in a volume of 0.6ml of liquid. The vial was accidently dropped within the fume cupboard and splashed onto the gloves of the analyst. The analyst was wearing two pair of gloves and found both pairs to be contaminated. In addition the analyst then monitored their hands and discovered that both also had radioactive contamination.
The preliminary dose reconstruction indicated that the analyst received an extremity dose of 850 mSv, although investigations are ongoing. This dose is in excess of the statutory annual extremity dose limit of 500 mSv. In the 3-4 weeks following, the analyst's hands showed symptoms consistent with non-lethal deterministic effects in the form of erythema and blistering.

INES Rating: 3 - Serious incident (Final) as per 28 September 2017
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

Vaz Mottl
Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency

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