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Internal contamination of a worker in a fuel pellets fabrication workshop

Print View Posted on: 07 February 2024

Event Date: 11 February 2020 Event Type: Fuel Fabrication Event Location: France, Melox – Orano Cycle – Marcoule INES Rating: 2 (Final)

The event occurred in the pelleting workshop, where mixtures of plutonium and uranium oxide powders are compacted into cylindrical pellets. These operations are carried out in glove boxes. While cleaning a glove box containing a compacting press, one of the gloves was punctured, causing atmospheric contamination of the working area. This contamination was detected by the room’s radiation monitors and the area was evacuated in accordance with the procedures in force.

One of the three people present in this room was contaminated. The CEA Marcoule medical service then took charge of this person.

Orano Cycle informed ASN of this event on 12 February, indicating that radio-toxicological analyses had been run to estimate the committed dose for this person.

These analyses, which lasted several months, show that the committed dose could exceed the annual dose limit set at 20 mSv. Therefore, on 24 June 2020, Orano Cycle reported this event as

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