31.10.2016_No215 / News in Brief

Sweden Exposure Incident Given Provisional INES 2 Rating, Says Regulator

Unplanned Events & Incidents

31 Oct (NucNet): An incident in which six people were exposed to an “unjustified radiation dose” at the Norrland University Hospital in Umea, northeast Sweden has been provisionally rated as Level 2 on the International Atomic Energy Agency’s International Nuclear Event and Radiological Scale (INES), the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) said. INES has seven levels with Level 2 categorised as an ‘Incident’. The radiation was emitted from a cyclotron that is used to manufacture materials for diagnostics examinations. SSM said the incident, which took place on 7 October 2016 and has been reported to the IAEA, arose because the door to the cyclotron was left open, despite a requirement for it to be kept closed while manufacturing is in progress. Subsequent dose calculations and tests have shown that the radiation dose to these individuals was low, SSM said. The hospital reported the event to SSM, which carried out an onsite investigation to gather additional information about the incident. The hospital took immediate action to prevent similar events from recurring. It is also conducting an investigation of its own, SSM said. SSM’s reasoning for this INES classification is that the incident could have had “grave consequences” if the exposed people had been closer to the cyclotron, SSM said.

Related reports in the NucNet database (available to subscribers):

  • Swedish Regulator Faces Possible New Challenges, Say IAEA Review Team (News in Brief No.86, 03 May 2016)

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