Fuel Fabrication

Types of facilities

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INES-event
INES 2

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 »

INES-event
INES 2

ASN decided to uprate as level 2 on the INES scale an event related to non-compliance with the requirements applicable to labelling, storage and on-site transfer of wet fissile materials

On September 26th 2012, the company FBFC (subsidiary of AREVA) notified ASN of an event related to non-compliance with the requirements applicable to packaging, storage and on-site transfer of wet fissile materials within its nuclear fuel fabrication plant in Romans-sur-Isère (Drôme).

AREVA – FBFC suggested ASN to rate this event at level 1 on INES.

The event occurred in the premises of the basic nuclear installation dedicated to the production of PWR fuel.

Category: Fuel Fabrication France »

INES-event
INES 2

Worker injured and contaminated at the French MOX processing plant MELOX

On 26 July 2004, at the MOX fuel processing facility Melox, during a maintenance operation in a glove box, the hand of a worker was injured by a contaminated mechanical equipment drop. The wound has been decontaminated and required a small surgical operation. There was no contamination spread in the installation and this event had no environmental consequence.

Category: Fuel Fabrication France Marcoule »

INES-event
INES [N/A]

Chemical Explosion at fuel fabrication facility

On Sunday, the 17.11.2002 early morning around 0415 hrs, there was a blast in the thermo syphon evaporator unit of Natural Uranium Oxide Fuel Plant (NUOFP) at Nuclear Fuel Complex Hyderabad, which concentrates Uranyl Nitrate Solution. This unit is under use since the inception of NUOFP (more than 4 years). About 100 litres of solution containing 100 gm per litre of Uranium spilled in the floor of the Plant. The spilled solution has been later cleaned and floor has been de-contaminated. There was no injury to the plant personnel.

Category: Fuel Fabrication India »

INES-event
INES 4

Workers exposed to radiation at conversion test building of JCO Co., Ltd., Tokai Works

Time: About 10:35 a.m., Thursday, September 30, 1999. Place: Conversion Test Building, JCO, Ltd.
An area radiation monitor was activated at the Conversion Test Building of the JCO Co., Ltd. Three workers were exposed to radiation and were taken to National Institute of Radiological Science. Two of them seriously. Details are being investigated.

Category: Fuel Fabrication Japan »

INES-event
INES 0

Fire involving used extract ventilation filters

A number of ventilation filters set alight causing minor fire (outside building 633, enriched Uranium Chemical facility, formerly EURRP) which was brought under control by the sites own emergency services within about half an hour. Lancashire County Fire Brigade were called out as a precautionary measure and assisted in dampening down the fire. Nobody was hurt and there is no effect on members of the public. An investigation is being set up to establish the cause of the incident.

Category: Fuel Fabrication United Kingdom »

INES-event
INES 2

ELEVATED URANIUM LUNG BURDEN

Routine bi-annual whole body monitoring of a process operator who works in a Hex to urianium dioxide conversion showed a higher than normal burden of uranium in the lungs. Subsequent monitoring has indicated that the worker may have exceeded 50 mSv CEDE. Further monitoring over a period of weeks is still required to enable a final confirmation of the dose. Routine surveillance of uranium air levels in the plant has not revealed any unusual results and no other workers have been affected.

Category: Fuel Fabrication United Kingdom »

INES-event
INES 2

PROLONGED LOSS OF VENTILATION IN THE FUEL FABRICATION BUILDING IN THE FBFC ESTABLISHMENT

Following a loss of normalized emergency ventilation and non compliance with procedures, the operators worked for over an hour without dynamic containment. Measurements of atmospheric contamination did not provide any evidence of an increase in atmospheric contamination. Failure of all extracted ventilation systems linked to the presence of common mode between the electrical power supplies to these ventilation systems. Lack in the transmission procedure of the alarm.

Category: Fuel Fabrication France Tricastin FBFC »

INES-event
INES 2

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 »

INES-event
INES 2

VIOLATION OF SAFETY REGULATIONS AT A WORKSHOP IN THE FUEL FABRICATION PLANT

On Tuesday, 4 June, inspectors from the safety authority (Department for the Safety of Nuclear Installations - DSIN - and the Rhone-Alpes regional division) reported that two incidents involving a criticality risk had taken place on 29 and 30 April 1991, in the plant's workshop for the oxide production process.

Category: Fuel Fabrication France Tricastin »