LANL workers get radiation contamination
Plutonium Facility–Work Planning: Last Thursday, a group of eight workers, with five simultaneously working in gloveboxes, experienced a contamination event while performing corrective maintenance on the trolley in the plutonium-238 area. Radiological surveys identified greater than two million disintegrations per minute (dpm) in several locations in the room and on multiple areas of the coveralls of two individuals. One of these workers also had about 500 dpm on the skin. Overall, three workers started special bioassay. The continuous air monitor alarmed about 1.5 hours into the event; however, its filters and those of other fixed air samplers revealed only low levels of airborne contamination. Management conducted a fact-finding for this event on Monday where follow-up actions revealed a V-shaped tear about the size of a quarter in one of the gloves; however, potential causes of the tear remain undetermined. Other points discussed include the need for extra monitoring equipment, reinforcement of surveying following glove exit, and a request for continuous presence of a radiological control technician (RCT) during complicated trolley jobs.
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