Two suffer tritium exposure at n-plant - Rajasthan

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  1. ejazr

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    Two suffer tritium exposure at n-plant - Indian Express

    Two contractual workers at the Rawatbhata Atomic Power Station in Rajasthan are under treatment for exposure to radioactive tritium following a leak inside the plant on June 23. The two workers, along with 36 others, were carrying out annual maintenance work when the leak was detected. While the employees were evacuated immediately, higher levels of exposure were detected in two workers.

    Tritium is a heavier form of hydrogen and emits soft radiation. Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS) - 5 Station Director Vinod Kumar said the workers were exposed to the radioactive material during the biannual shutdown. “There were some modifications being made to the moderator system in reactor-5 when an incident of tritium uptake of above Investigation Level (4 M Bq/l) took place,” Kumar said.

    Workers Nand Kishore and Gautam Salvan have been exposed to 22 milisieverts of radiation. The safe limit as prescribed by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) is 20 milisieverts per year. Senior AERB officials said the two would not be allowed near any radioactive area for the remaining year.

    The Department of Atomic Energy clarified that no radioactive leakage had happened to the environment. “The uptake occurred due to inadvertent rise in tritium levels in a localised area of the containment building of reactor-5. There was absolutely no release of radiation to the environment,” said a statement.

    “The incident was reported to AERB. The incident has been investigated by the committee deputed by the NPCIL and by AERB independently. The appropriate measures as suggested by these committees...will be implemented promptly,” the statement said.

    The maintenance work included safety features for additional cooling, which were put in place following the Fukushima incident in Japan.

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