Sellafield incident rated at INES level 2

9 March 2017

An incident, which occurred at a Sellafield fuel reprocessing facility in the UK in January has been given a final rating of Level 2 on the International Atomic Energy Agency’s International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES), the IAEA said on 2 March.

The incident resulted in contamination of a worker’s hand and involved the sampling of radioactive material – a procedure that is performed twice daily by experienced senior staff. Upon leaving the building and using hand and frisking monitors, the team leader who had carried out the sampling found himself to be contaminated. He reported to the surgery where contamination was found on one finger of his right hand and removed “using the standard procedure”.

The estimated dose of just over 1Sv exceeds the statutory equivalent annual dose limit for the hand of 500mSv, the IAEA said.

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