[ RadSafe ] RadSafe Digest, Vol 362, Issue 1

Clayton J Bradt CJB01 at health.state.ny.us
Fri Jul 23 13:26:09 CDT 2010

Rick Strickert wrote:

>For anyone who has worked with licensed radioactive materials or has
> been a radiation safety officer, or has been audited by a licensing
> agency, this sentence is simply jaw-dropping.

I don't know about "jaw-dropping".  This scenario is typical for lost
sources, especially industrial gauges.  Sources are unused
for several years and placed in storage or just left attached to shut-down
area of the plant.  The demolition/renovation work is scheduled
by some separate office in the organization that isn't aware of the
presence of the sources or even of the existence of the radiation
safety officer.  Demolition workers don't read labels, so out the sources
go with the rest of the demolition debris.

Apparently there was a new RSO appointed recently who may not have been
aware that the source safe was in an area scheduled for demolition
until it was too late.

The report by Illinois indicated that the last time the physical location
of the sources was verified by state inspectors was in 2005.

This last point is the most troubling, more for what it portends for the
future of all Agreement State programs than what it says specifically about
Illinois' inspection priorities.
The States are all hurting financially and cutting back everywhere. In New
York the governor is determined to shed state employees and has offered a
series of early
retirement incentives within the past year.  As a result of these, the NY
DOH radiation control program has lost 4 experienced inspectors and is
likely to lose 2 more by
the end of the summer.  On top of this, the governor is talking about
resorting to layoffs to trim the workforce even further.  This happens to
be an election year, and although the
present governor, Paterson, is not running, both major party candidates
have indicated that they also are planning to reduce the state workforce
once in office.

I assume that other states are going through the same process of shedding
employees as fast as they can.  As this event, and other similar ones
clearly show, frequent physical
inspection by regulators is essential for preventing the loss of
radioactive sources. With the loss of state inspectors all across the
country, we can expect more of these
incidents in the future.

Full disclosure statement: Yes, I am a member of a public employee union.

Clayton J. Bradt
Principal Radiophysicist
NYS Dept. of Health
Biggs Laboratory, Room D486A
Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY 12201-0509


> Date: Fri, 23 Jul 2010 09:56:13 -0500
> From: "Strickert, Rick" <rstrickert at signaturescience.com>
> Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Illinois Hospital Loses Radioactive Material
> To: "Garner, William H" <whgarn2 at email.uky.edu>,
>    "radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu"   <radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu>
> Message-ID:
>    <9570FCB2DD870B4692083A08D14B9C7EECDEDF7937 at ss-
> mail.corp.signaturescience.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
> "The lead-lined safe [holding radioactive material] at the Riverside
> Medical Center in Kankakee was not located when construction workers
> finished a demolition job at the medical center on July 13"
> For anyone who has worked with licensed radioactive materials or has
> been a radiation safety officer, or has been audited by a licensing
> agency, this sentence is simply jaw-dropping.
> Rick Strickert
> Austin, TX
> ------------------------------
> _______________________________________________
> RadSafe mailing list
> RadSafe at health.phys.iit.edu
> http://health.phys.iit.edu/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/radsafe
> End of RadSafe Digest, Vol 362, Issue 1
> ***************************************
IMPORTANT NOTICE: This e-mail and any attachments may contain confidential or sensitive information which is, or may be, legally privileged or otherwise protected by law from further disclosure. It is intended only for the addressee. If you received this in error or from someone who was not authorized to send it to you, please do not distribute, copy or use it or any attachments. Please notify the sender immediately by reply e-mail and delete this from your system. Thank you for your cooperation. 

More information about the RadSafe mailing list