Accidental exposure of a worker exceeding annual regulatory limit to the skin

On 24 April 2103, there has been an accidental exposure of a worker from a contractor of the operator EDF.

At the radiological checkpoint before leaving the controlled zone, a worker has detected radioactive contamination in the neck area.

He was previously performing some scrubbing operations on several materials. These operations are carried out before non destructive tests during the reactor 4 of the Blayais NPP’s outage. This NPP is located in the Gironde administrative department (South-West of France).

Decontamination of the worker has been performed. During this procedure, a radioactive particle has been found and immediately removed. The whole body dose received and the dose to the skin in the neck have been assessed.
In France, the annual regulatory dose limits for occupational exposure for twelve consecutive months are 20 millisieverts for the whole body and 500 milisieverts (average value per 1 cm2 skin surface).

The dose received in the neck area is, in all likelihood, higher than the regulatory limit to the skin.

As the exposure time of the worker is subject to significant uncertainty, the dose estimation will be carried out by an expertise study performed by IRSN (Institute for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety). The whole body dose received by the worker is clearly lower than the annual regulatory limit.
The exposure level of the worker doesn’t justify any specific medical treatment, he will nevertheless be monitored as a preventive measure.

ASN has conducted an inspection at the Le Blayais NPP on 26 April 2013. ASN inspectors have checked that EDF and its contractor have taken the required actions for the medical monitoring of the worker and the root causes analysis of this incident.

Location: BLAYAIS-4
Event date: Wed, 24-04-2013
Nuclear event report
Legenda & explanation