Irradiated workers seek damages

Dounreay pair claiming against UKAEA

By Andrew Cavenagh

Two workers at the Dounreay nuclear plant in Scotland are seeking compensation from the UK Atomic Energy Authority after receiving radiation doses of more than four times the legal limit in 1995.

Sources at the plant said the two, members of the T&G union, had lodged claims against the company. One received an estimated dose of 244 millisieverts and the other one of 210MSV from absorbing plutonium.

The annual legal limit is 50MSV.

The UKAEA brought in experts from the Atomic Weapons Establishment, British Nuclear Fuels and National Radiological Protection Board to investigate the incident towards the end of last year and was expected to publish a synopsis of the team’s report this week. However, this was delayed.

Meanwhile, British Nuclear Fuels and the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate confirmed that no further action was being taken over a worker at BNFL’s Sellafield site who contracted a similarly high dose (from plutonium) in 1995.

BNFL said: `In line with normal procedure, extensive investigations have not revealed the cause.’

The NII said the `remaining involvement’ of its inspectors had been to approve the entry in the man’s record and confirm that his case had been looked at by a doctor before he returned to work. Both had been done.