‘Event of potential public interest’ at US nuke plant: 50 workers exposed to radiological airborne event — No ‘significant’ impact to health of public or workers

Published: September 12th, 2012 at 1:08 pm ET


Title: NRC: Event Notification Report for September 12, 2012
Region: 1 State: PA
Event Date: 09/11/2012
Event Time: 07:33 [EDT]


“This ENS [report] is being voluntarily issued to notify the NRC that voluntary communications were made to offsite agencies this morning between 0700 and 0830 [EDT] due to an event of potential public interest.

“At approximately 1 a.m. on September 1, 2012, Peach Bottom outage workers on the Unit 2 refuel floor were disassembling the reactor head vent when steam discharged from the flange, causing a small but detectable amount of airborne contamination that was contained in the building. All workers were wearing the proper protective equipment and no significant personal [personnel] exposure has been reported. As a precaution, employees were asked to temporarily leave the area for onsite evaluation while radiation protection technicians investigated. Approximately 50 workers were impacted by the radiological airborne event at Peach Bottom and had to stay over shift for radiological monitoring. In accordance with station Radiological procedures, affected personnel are being monitored and as required bioassay is being conducted. Radiation monitors in the reactor building initially detected the airborne contamination, but all have returned to normal levels. This event resulted in no significant impact to the health and safety of our workers or the public. The station made voluntary notifications to the NRC Senior Resident, the State Bureau of Radiation Protection and state and local stakeholders.

h/t Anonymous tip

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Published: September 12th, 2012 at 1:08 pm ET


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18 comments to ‘Event of potential public interest’ at US nuke plant: 50 workers exposed to radiological airborne event — No ‘significant’ impact to health of public or workers

  • TheWorldIsFüküd

    One of these days, I tell you, an accident is going to cause a catastrophic nuclear event in the US.

    We MUST seek alternative energy!

    *EneNews* You should be the FOREFRONT of the anti-nuclear movement.

  • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

    Anybody else roll their eyes when they hear the official statement that includes…

    "No ‘significant’ impact to health…"

    This mustn't be that bad or we would have gotten the

    "No 'immediate' impact to health…" which is industry speak for, …You are so gonna have cancer, or worse in a few years, and maybe even deformed children, and grandchildren…

  • kalidances

    Lol yep. Humans don't regularly eat 12,000 bananas a year now anyway; much less radioactive ones.

  • chrisk9

    The fact is that this is the kind of thing that is not that uncommon in a refueling outage. There would have been no notification if the workers would have been wearing respirators, which is often done for this task. But this time for some reason they were not, and some workers might have gotten some uptake. A radiation protection (human)error even if it was assumed there was no pressure in the line.
    When you take apart a reactor during a refueling outage there are always some workers that get a small internal dose. Most of the time it is undetectable inside the body within a few days or weeks. That is just how it is when working at these plants.

    • Johnny Blade Johnny Blade

      Hi chrisk9, I had heard that many-"routine" operation's at NPP's including refueling outages include releases of radioactivity that DEFINITELY contaminate on-site buildings,eqpt. & personnel and more often than not are NOT limited to the facilities venting,leaking & perhaps commonly via serious accidents that NEVER involve informing the local and downwind victims. The most "thoughtful" action I'd ever heard of a nuclear power plant here amongst the eleven aging pcs. of crap surrounding me on the Chicago border west of Midway Airport was a flyer mailed or hand-delivered to residents close to the NPP that suggested that "radiation-sensitive" groups including pregnant,nursing and/or women hoping to conceive a child might be at a "slight risk" for "complications" during refueling outages,etc.~but I've seen TV news interviews of local residents following "incidents" reported to the NRC that somehow managed about 40 seconds of media attention and the people are ALL naive and "programmed"(?)-since the same BS lines used by Big Nuke are repeated as if they'd trust their lives to the nasty people running the places?!!~I guess they DO!?-why else would they choose to live with the grotesque sight of steaming cooling towers when they look out the window to check on the kids playing in the back yards rolling in s%#t?!!~I think ALL of "it" adds up to DEATH even without Fukushitma's,etc.!! 🙁

      • chrisk9

        When you have an outage contamination is released inside the plant, but it is really rare for anything to get outside, much less out to the public. I could explain in detail all the steps and measures that keep contamination controlled within the work area, within the plant and on the site.
        I only know of two instances where contamination left the site. One was where contaminated tools were stolen by a worker. The other was at San Onofre where hot particles were carried off site undetected by workers.

  • or-well

    We're Peach Bottom smooth
    as we remove the reactor head vent.
    Oops what was that
    and where did it went?
    We're Peach Bottom smooth
    as we provide our public comment.
    This was no big deal event.
    There may be some interest
    but we're in compliance
    and part of our alliance
    is the NRC Resident.
    You may be stakeholders
    but we're the snake-handlers
    just following orders
    from the Board and Shareholders.

  • moonshellblue moonshellblue

    I'm surrounded by 5 nuke plants I wish they would decommission all of them. TMI is about 30 miles away and Peach Bottom is 50 miles. I drove by TMI a few days ago and it was just steaming away. I think that is why the background levels in PA are so high compared to the rest of the US.

  • jec jec

    No Immediate affect..does anyone remember those words from TEPCO and Japanese Government. Funny–Peach Bottom Management uses similar approach to "calm" area locals. Guess as long as no one can identify they are being contaminated–its safe. Safe for the nuclear company!

  • Health impact? It will NEVER be stated to be significant.
    (But really it IS!)

    I have finally figured that one out.
    I hope others realize the same soon.

    🙂 Make it look like Nuclear Power is your cuddly friend.

    It's not so scary….
    (cartoon photo)

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Work at a nuclear plant, get exposed. Live within 50 miles, get exposed. Be downwind, get exposed. And you never know if, when, or how much the exposure is.