[ RadSafe ] Unplanned Radiation Exposures at Cooper Nuclear Plant

Thompson, Dewey L DThompson3 at ameren.com
Wed Apr 13 14:01:18 CDT 2011

It appears from a source at the plant the work crew pulled an older IRM tube from the bottom without RP planning or notification.  An older stainless steel tube, read 3300 R (33 Sv) per hr on the end, no distance quoted.   The standard practice is to remove from top. Very preliminary and sketchy report. No dose estimates given. 

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----- Original Message -----
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu <radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu>
To: radsafe <radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu>
Sent: Wed Apr 13 09:40:40 2011
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Unplanned Radiation Exposures at Cooper Nuclear Plant

Here's a recent NRC press release regarding an incident at Cooper.  It is
receiving media coverage.  I'd be interested in the results of the
investigation, in particular:  Was the job poorly planned? or Did the
workers not follow procedures?  Since most plants plan work down to the
man-millirem, I suspect the latter.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has begun a special inspection at the
Cooper Nuclear Station to review the circumstances surrounding a maintenance
procedure that led to unplanned radiation exposures to three workers. The
plant, located near Brownville, Neb., is operated by the Nebraska Public
Power District (NPPD).
Inspectors, who began their work Monday, will look at the circumstances and
decision-making by NPPD officials that led to the exposures, review the
licensee’s response to the event, calculate the exposures the workers
received and review corrective actions taken to prevent a recurrence.
The incident occurred on April 3, when workers removed a long tube
contaminated with highly radioactive material through the bottom of the
reactor vessel, rather than through the top as is usually done, triggering
radiation alarms. The workers set the tube down and immediately left the
area. The licensee does not believe the workers received radiation exposures
in excess of NRC limits.
“We want to understand why normal work practices were not followed,
resulting in unplanned radiation exposures to three workers,” said Region IV
Administrator Elmo E. Collins. “We want to take a look at the
decision-making that contributed to this event.”
The team consisting of two NRC inspectors, began work Monday and will
probably spend several days at the plant. They will write an inspection
report on their findings within 45 days of the end of the inspection that
will be made publicly available.*

Bill Lipton
It's not about dose, it's about trust.
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