Nuclear workers exposed to gas

Saturday, April 27, 2002

ATHENS, Ala. -- Fifty-four workers were exposed to gas with low levels of radioactive contamination during an incident this week at the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant, officials said.

The gas escaped late Wednesday as workers were taking apart the Unit 2 reactor, plant spokesman Craig Beasley said. They returned to work the next day.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman Ken Clark said the accident appeared minor. "We do not expect any of the workers who were exposed to have any adverse health effects," he said.

Beasley said none of the radioactive gas left the building surrounding the reactor. With the top of the reactor already removed, the gas escaped as the workers took off another part, he said.

Beasley said the workers received less than 50 millirems of radiation exposure. By comparison, he said, a dental X-ray exposes patients to about 9 millirems.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: