The five workers exposed to airborne plutonium at the Oarai Research & Development Center in Ibaraki Prefecture were quarantined for about three hours in the room where the accident occurred, a Japan Atomic Energy Agency official said Friday. Although this action was taken to prevent the plutonium and other radioactive contaminants from spreading to other parts of the nuclear research facility, it probably worsened their internal exposure as they breathed the tainted air. Internal radiation exposure has been confirmed in four of the five men.
Japan Times 9th June 2017 read more »
In an accident on Tuesday at a nuclear research facility in Ibaraki Prefecture, a metallic container holding nuclear fuel material that escaped and was inhaled had not been inspected since at least 1991, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned. The accident at the Japan Atomic Energy Agency’s Oarai Research and Development Center in the town of Oarai exposed workers to radiation. The nuclear material had been put in a polyethylene container, which was then sealed in double plastic bags and placed inside the metallic container. There is a possibility that during the past 26 years gas produced inside the innermost container leaked into the bags, filling them and causing them to burst, according to sources at the agency. The workers were checking the nuclear material when the incident occurred. The JAEA conducted the check because the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s safety inspection around November last year found improper handling of nuclear fuel materials at seven facilities including the Oarai center.
Japan Times 8th June 2017 read more »