Irradiation of a worker during an intervention using gamma ray projector

During a weld inspection operation carried out by two employees of the Welding Institute on a worksite in Pau using gamma radiography equipment , the radioactive source of the gamma ray projector jammed inside its guide tube.

Using a metal rod found on site, one of the operators managed to free the jammed source and return it to the safe position in the body of the device. During this operation, the operator was directly exposed to the radiation emitted by the radioactive source.

Development of the operator's dosimeter revealed that he had received a dose of 22.94 millisieverts in June, essentially during that one operation of 11th June.

The regional department of the Welding Institute was informed of this event on 8th July. It notified ASN of the event on 16th July. ASN regional division conducted a reactive inspection at the head office of the Welding Institute in Latresne to clarify the circumstances of the incident.

ASN notes that the initiative taken by the operators to manipulate the device in order to unblock the radioactive source is not in conformity with the license issued to the Welding Institute authorising the use of gamma ray projectors, and underlines the abnormally long time taken to notify ASN of the incident.

Location: Worksite in Pau (Pyrénées Atlantiques département)
Event date: Wed, 11-06-2014
Nuclear event report
Legenda & explanation