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Belgian radioactive leak worse than initially thought

Friday, August 29, 2008

BRUSSELS (AFP) — Fresh tests carried out near a Belgian medical laboratory showed that a leak of radioactive iodine last weekend was worse than had initially been thought, authorities said late Thursday.

Samples of grass taken next to the National Institute for Radioactive Elements near the southern city of Charleroi had shown higher levels of radioactive iodine than the first tests, an interior ministry crisis group said here.

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Inadvertent plutonium shipment from Belgium to United Kingdom

On September 2, 1999 a container for the transport of radioactive reference materials was picked up at the IRMM, Geel, Belgium, and sent for maintenance to CROFT Associates in Abingdon, UK, via Luxembourg. The shipping container was assumed to be empty but in reality contained a reference material in form of diluted solutions of plutonium in nitric acid (0.69 g of plutonium in total).

Category: Transportation Belgium Mol »

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UNCONTROLLED POWER TRANSIENT IN A TEST REACTOR WITH DEGRADATION OF THE TESTED IRRADIATED FUEL NEEDLE

During start-up of the reactor, the power unwillingly increased outside the test specification limits to the nominal conditions.
The reactor was manually stopped before actuation of the protection at nominal power.
The fuel needle under test was badly damaged and induced locally a significant irradiation rate in the experimental area around the reactor (a few R/hr). However no release of radioactivity to the environment, nor any abnormal irradiation of the personnel occurred.

Category: Other Belgium Mol »

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CONTAMINATION OF WORKERS DUE TO THE RUPTURE OF A MIXED OXIDE FUEL ROD DURING FABRICATION

During the fabrication of mixed oxide (MOX) fuel elements at 5% plutonium oxide enrichment a rod was detached from the insertion device and was therefore incompletely inserted in the squeleton. During the next operations, the rod was broken by mechanical interaction with a tool. The workshop was contaminated by plutonium oxide. Eight workers were slightly contaminated externally; one of them was contaminated internally but at a level less than the limit.
As the scale extension for non reactor is no yet implemented, no official rating is available.

Category: Fuel Fabrication Belgium Mol »