INL Releases Information about November Industrial Exposure

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Updated: 10/04/2012 6:45 pm

        The Idaho National Laboratory has released information concerning the internal radiological dose received by 16 employees involved in a fuel-packaging accident at the materials and fuels complex last November.

“Basically we don’t want to have these kinds of events andso we’ve worked on those processes to make sure that that happens” said Managerof Mission Support at the Materials and Fuels Complex, Phil Breidenbach.

Luckily the results that came back indicate that none of the 16 workers exposed received an internal or external radiological dose that exceeded administrative or regulatory limits established by the Department of Energy.

“Now, the problem is the reason why we treat this so seriously, even though no workers were hurt, is that, it was luck, no skill in this case, it could have been worse” continued Breidenbach.

No observable health effects are anticipated from the doses the workers received.

This scale was illustrated to show how some common sources of radiation compare with yearly doses known to impact health.

Of the 16 workers, 4 weren’t affected at all, 9 received 0 to 0.1 rem and 3 received 0.1 to 2 rem.

“The things that can happen with radiation exposure and why it’s controlled is that there is with any radiation there’s a come caret increased risk of cancer, the same way there is for a lot of things that you’re exposed to but at these levels it’s considered occupationally safe” said Sharon Dossett the Director of Environment Safety and Health.

During the last 11 months, internal dosimetry professionals have performed more than 1,400 analyses on 228 different biological samples to formulate their conclusion.

Administration at the INL says they've made over 50 corrections already to make sure these kinds of things don't happen again.

They still have more corrections they plan to make before the year is over.

The Department of Energy is fining Batelle Energy Alliance $412,500 in relation to a notice of violation and financial penalty as a result of the accident last fall.

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