AW: AW: AW: [ RadSafe ] News article from Belgium: Worker Critical after highradiation dose

Jim Hardeman Jim_Hardeman at
Fri Apr 7 13:49:09 CDT 2006

Rainer *
We here in Georgia (USA) have some experience in dealing with Sterigenics (formerly Radiation Sterilizers, Inc. or RSI) irradiators ... in our case the source was ~12,500,000 Ci of Cs-137 ... and yes, the irradiator here in Georgia was the one that experienced the leaking source. To make a long story short, given what little I know of the controls used in the Georgia facility (and remember, this was 1988 vintage controls!) I wouldn't be so quick to jump on the sabotage angle. If you want to know more, I'll be happy to discuss in private e-mail ... I wouldn't want to say anything here that could have the effect of dragging me into court.
Jim Hardeman
Jim_Hardeman at

>>> <Rainer.Facius at> 4/7/2006 14:06:22 >>>


My (possibly not perfect) reading of the French texts gives me the impression that the interior of the irradiation room itself was surveyed by several ambient dose monitors and that somehow a defect of these was giving rise to the initial (false?) alarms and thereby contributed to the accident itself. However, they did not set off an alarm when the victim entered to inspect the irradiation room before locking again the door (why in the first place was it open on a Saturday, i.e., during weekend leisure time)?!? The fragments described by now are rather confusing ... and even faintly apt to rouse the suspicion of sabotage.



Von: Michael McNaughton [mailto:mcnaught at]
Gesendet: Fr 07.04.2006 19:35
An: Facius, Rainer; radsafe at
Betreff: Re: AW: AW: [ RadSafe ] News article from Belgium: Worker Critical after highradiation dose


I expected the procedures to require the employee to use an ion chamber or
Geiger counter that gives an immediate result.


At 11:04 AM 04/07/2006, Rainer.Facius at wrote:
>I have inspected another official source
>( which
>clearly mentions that personnel dosimeters of Stérigenics operating staff
>have been checked with the result that none of them indicated unusual
>So presumably he too was supposed to wear it also on that Saturday when he
>interrupted his spare time to assist the on site staff. As far as the
>accident has been elucidated till now that would not have made a big

Mike McNaughton
Los Alamos National Lab.
email: mcnaught at or mcnaughton at
phone: 505-667-6130; page: 505-664-7733

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