NRC Takes Action Against International Isotopes, Inc.

A technician received a radiation exposure in excess of NRC limits on Aug. 20.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued a Confirmatory Action Letter last week listing the actions that International Isotopes, Inc., has agreed to take before resuming some of its operations at its Idaho Falls, Idaho, facility, where a technician received a radiation exposure in excess of NRC limits on Aug. 20.

NRC is conducting a follow-up inspection to learn more about the incident.

The employee was preparing to transfer a shielded Cobalt-60 source into another shielded container when it became stuck. While trying to dislodge it, the worker received a brief radiation exposure, according to the agency. "While no immediate adverse health effects to the technician are expected, the worker was sent to a local hospital for a blood test to help determine the extent of his exposure," according to the NRC announcement, which said the agency sent an inspector to the site Aug. 21 to review the sequence of events.

"We are conducting a follow-up inspection to better understand the circumstances that contributed to this incident and to evaluate actions that International Isotopes has taken to ensure their workers are adequately protected," said Region IV Administrator Marc Dapas.

NRC will prepare a written report that will be made public. Issuing the Confirmatory Action Letter does not prevent NRC from taking additional actions for any violation of NRC requirements that may be found.

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