Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

‘Safety breaches and lack of management support’ at ANSTO’s Lucas Heights nuclear facility

Second radioactive spill in 10 months at ANSTO’s Lucas Heights facility, SMH, By Peter Hannam 

A staff member at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation facility at Lucas Heights has been involved in a spill of radioactive material, the second such incident in 10 months.

A quality control analyst working in medical production was involved in the spillage of about one millilitre of the radioactive isotope molybdenum-99 early on Thursday morning, an ANSTO spokesman said.

“The staff member was wearing full protective clothing. An occupational health physicist checked the analyst and confirmed no skin contamination,” the spokesman said.

The employee was then cleared to go home and returned to work on Friday.

A source told Fairfax Media, however, that employees at the site “are concerned with the most recent number of safety breaches and lack of management support”.

Medical production at the facility has ceased, pending a thorough investigation into the spill, the spokesman said. “ANSTO is working to minimise impacts on nuclear medicine production.”

ANSTO was keen to stress that Thursday’s incident was “very different” from one last August, when a staffer reportedly spilled a quantity of the MO-99 isotope, causing a “significant radiation dose”.

“Tests show the analyst involved in yesterday’s incident did not receive skin contamination. ANSTO continues to provide support for the employee involved in last year’s incident.”

The site has had other radiation events, such as one reportedly involving four staff in 2012….https://www.smh.com.

 

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June 8, 2018 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, safety

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