North America

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INES 1

Overexposure to Radiographer

As a result of a recent inspection by the State of Oklahoma, the licensee has learned that one of their radiographers received an annual whole body dose of 58.1 mSv (5.81 rem) for calendar year 2016. The overdose was accumulated over the course of the year. There were no unusual circumstances that caused the overdose. NRC EN52693

Category: Radiation Source United States of America »

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Overdose to Nuclear Pharmacist

The licensee (PETNET Solutions) has confirmed an extremity dose of greater than 0.5 Sv (50 rem) to one of its nuclear pharmacists. Dosimetry results for a ring badge worn on the pharmacist’s right ring finger accumulated a total dose of 0.511 Sv (51.1 rem) for the year as of October 19, 2016. The pharmacist received the dose while working at the licensee's locations in Phoenix, Arizona, and Portland, Oregon. The pharmacist has been placed on work restrictions. The licensee expects to complete a root cause analysis within 2 weeks. NRC EN52350

Category: Radioisotope Processing/Handling Facility United States of America »

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Overexposure to Radiographer

The licensee radiographer's dosimetry report for July 2016 recorded a dose of 0.055 Sv (5.5 rem), bringing his total dose to 0.064 Sv (6.4 rem), which is above the statutory limit of 0.05 Sv annually (5 rem) for a radiation worker. The Radiation Safety Officer believes the radiographer may not have been properly distancing himself from the source while performing radiography in an enclosed area. NRC EN52199

Category: Radiation Source United States of America »

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Excessive Deposits of Material Containing Uranium In Scrubber

At a facility authorized to use low-enriched uranium to fabricate commercial nuclear fuel assemblies, excessive deposits of uranium-bearing material were found in the main scrubber and associated ventilation ductwork. The function of the scrubber is to remove gases and particulates from various process exhaust streams. During the most recent planned annual wet scrubber system cleanout, personnel noticed an abnormal amount of material buildup in the inlet transition region and associated ductwork (i.e. elbow). Over the course of the 2-day maintenance evolution approximately 197 kilograms of material were removed from these two sections. These sections are not a favorable geometry from a criticality perspective. Since the facility personnel were under the assumption that this material had a low uranium concentration, operators attempted to break up and wash away the material to facilitate its removal. The facility personnel did not sample the material to confirm the uranium concentration before conducting these activities. After the material was removed, grab samples of the material were taken and analyzed for uranium concentration. The grab sample results indicated that the uranium concentrations ranged from 34wt% – 55wt%, which corresponded to approximately 87 kilograms of uranium. As such, the criticality safety evaluation mass limit of 29 kilograms was exceeded by a factor of 3.

Category: Fuel Fabrication United States of America »

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Overexposure to Radiographer

During the performance of industrial radiography, the licensee radiographer taped the radiography camera’s guide tube to a jig in preparation for an exposure shot. During the exposure shot, the guide tube fell and the radiographer re-taped it to the jig without first retracting the source back inside the camera. A re-enactment of the event demonstrated that the radiographer had placed his left hand on the camera's collimator and inserted his middle finger into its port hole.

Category: Radiation Source United States of America »

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Worker Overexposure

During an inspection in January 2016, the State of Florida noted that one of the licensee's employees working with a particle accelerator had exceeded the 50 mSv (5 rem) worker exposure limit for 2015 (overexposure nominally was 52 mSv (5.2 rem)). This employee also had nine high exposure investigative reports for 2015, and the Radiation Safety Officer had failed to take any action to mitigate exposure. Florida plans to conduct a follow up inspection to investigate the circumstances surrounding the worker overexposure. NRC EN51688

Category: Irradiation/Accelerators Facility United States of America »

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Overexposure to Radiographer

After performing a radiograph, the radiographer believed he had cranked the source back inside the camera. However, when he went to retrieve the film, he noticed that his survey meter was reading off-scale, and then he noticed that his pocket dosimeter also read off-scale. The radiographer’s whole body dosimetry was sent for processing, which resulted in readings of 114.5 mSv (11.45 rem) deep dose equivalent and 114.9 mSv (11.49 rem) lens dose equivalent. The total effective dose equivalent accrued by the radiographer for the year was 125.8 mSv (12.58 rem).

Category: Radiation Source United States of America »

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Overexposure to Radiographer

The licensee reported that one of their radiographers received a deep dose equivalent of 55.63 mSv (5.563 rem) during 2009. The licensee stated that the exposure had accumulated over the year and was not the result of a one-time event. Additionally, the licensee stated that the exposure probably occurred while the radiographer was using high activity sources in confined spaces. The licensee believes that the shooting times were so short that the radiographer was not able to maximize distance during operations.

Category: Radiation Source United States of America »

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INES 2

Overexposure to Radiographer

The licensee reported that one of their radiographers received a deep dose equivalent of 55.63 mSv (5.563 rem) during 2009. The licensee stated that the exposure had accumulated over the year and was not the result of a one-time event. The licensee stated that the exposure probably occurred while the radiographer was using high activity sources in confined spaces. The licensee believes that the shooting times were so short that the radiographer was not able to not maximize distance during operations in order to sufficiently reduce dose.

Category: Radiation Source United States of America »

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Overexposure to Radiation Worker

This is an isotope manufacturing facility. The licensee technician needed to transfer a Co-60 source drawer into a shielded container called a therapy head. A special handling tool had been bolted to the end of the source drawer and this tool was needed to safely transfer the source back inside the therapy head. The technician attempted to move the source drawer in order to gain access to the handling tool but the source drawer was stuck, so the technician pulled on the drawer.

Category: Radioisotope Processing/Handling Facility United States of America »