Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Another radiation contamination incident at Australia’s Lucas Heights nuclear reactor

Lucas Heights nuclear reactor in another contamination scare amid calls for safety review, By John Stewart and Rebecca Trigger, ABC Investigations 24 Oct 18 There has been another contamination scare at Australia’s only nuclear reactor in southern Sydney, in the same week a report was released recommending immediate action to review safety procedures at the site.

The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) confirmed five workers reported receiving a dose of radiation, but it was not above allowable limits.

………The Australian Manufacturers and Workers Union (AMWU) told the ABC at 11:30am on Tuesday, five employees working in the industrial handling bay inside building 23 were contaminated by an airborne iodine isotope.

The AMWU said one employee had been sent for thyroid scans, and another had to shave part of his beard off as it was carrying contaminates.

The scare came in the same week as a report into the ageing facility found it failed modern nuclear safety standards, and needed to be replaced, after another worker was exposed to radioactive material last year.

The union said Tuesday’s contamination was a result of comprehensive and repeated failures to protect the safety of workers at the site.

……….‘Legacy’ buildings at nuclear site need action, report finds

A worker was exposed to hazardous material after dropping a vial in an area of the facility known as building 23 in August last year.

The event was deemed the most serious in the world in 2017, according to the International Nuclear Event Scale.

A review conducted by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPNSA) following this incident, found two buildings at the site — 23 and 54 — were relatively old “legacy” facilities designed to meet 1950s-era standards, “and therefore may not fully meet modern standards of nuclear design, safety and operational workflows”.

“However, it should be noted that both facilities have met the safety requirements of the applicable regulators,” the report said.

The report also noted concerns around “unacceptable” behaviours including allegations of bullying and harassment of ANSTO staff.

ARPNSA made 85 recommendations, and directed ANSTO to “take immediate steps to initiate an independent review of the approach to occupational radiation safety of processes and operational procedures in B23″……..https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-10-24/contamination-scare-at-australias-lucas-heights-nuclear-reactor/10422476

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October 25, 2018 - Posted by | - incidents, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL

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