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At a time when nuclear power is on the skids in the United States, an employee of Fluor Idaho, the operator of the Radioactive Waste Management facility in the state, suffered exposure to radiation, Yahoo News reports, noting the accident occurred in early June but was not publicly disclosed.
A spokesperson for the company told Yahoo News that an investigation of the accident was underway and that “a stop work has been declared on radiological work in gloveboxes and in other radiologically contaminated locations that involve the use of sharp tools or the potential to come into contact with sharp objects or material.”
The accident occurred in a radiological area of the facility, where the employee suffered a puncture would that penetrated their personnel protective equipment. Medical attention was administered and the employee then returned to work.
The Department of Energy, who uses the services of Fluor as contractor of the Idaho site, did not respond to Yahoo News’ request for comment on the accident, which a friend of the employee detailed the accident and the treatment of the employee in a string of Facebook posts.
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Earlier this year, in April, at the same facility, a barrel full of radioactive sludge ruptured, spilling the sludge but without adverse consequences for the facility’s personnel, media reported at the time, citing federal officials. These also said that while this was the first known incident with this kind of sludge, but may not be the last.
Nobody really knows for sure what the contents of this sludge are, Idaho National Laboratory Joint Information Center spokesman Don Miley said at the time. It dates back from the Cold War days, from a nuclear weapons production facility near Denver, when those involved in the production of those weapons were extra careful to not reveal any information pertaining to the production process.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.