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An investigation is underway after the discovery of radioactive contamination in a waste handling plant at Dounreay on 12th November 2002.

Routine self-monitoring carried out by an operative revealed contamination to his protective footwear. Follow-up investigations revealed detectable radioactivity on the protective footwear of an additional twenty persons. Monitoring of all staff in the facility revealed that two had detectable radioactivity on their hands, one of whom also had detectable radioactivity on his face.

Both were taken to the Occupational Health Department at Dounreay for cleansing. The facial contamination was removed completely however some slight contamination remains on their hands. They have gone home wearing gloves and will be re-assessed in the morning.

A controlled withdrawal from the building was implemented. Investigation of the monitoring equipment on the ventilation system confirmed that there had been no release of radioactivity from the building.

Early indications suggest that the contamination was confined to the floor. A controlled re-entry will allow an investigation into the cause. The NII has been informed.


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