Radiation found in lab worker’s wound

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By Tris DeRoma

A worker’s puncture wound received while changing cables on a glove box at the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Tech Area 55 Aug. 18 was contaminated with plutonium-238, lab officials said. The internal contamination was found during medical testing done in the wake of the accident. 

The worker’s injury was reported in the latest inspection report prepared by an on site Defense Facilities Nuclear Safety Board inspector.

According to the report, LANL Director Terry Wallace dispatched a special investigations team the day after the event to find out what happened and how. 

“Their scope involves work planning and control, conduct of the job and the response up to the point of the wound monitoring,” the inspector said in the report.

According to LANL Spokesman Kevin Roark, the worker was wearing proper safety clothing when the accident occurred, and at the time of the Aug. 18 accident, it was not believed radiation got under the worker’s skin.

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