Six Sellafield workers were contaminated with radioactivity this week after an accident on the £130m programme to refurbish the Magnox reprocessing plant.
The B205 plant had been shut for 34 weeks for the extensive refit, and the incident occurred in the area of the building where spent fuel was dissolved in acid.
British Nuclear Fuels said the old loading machine used to lower the fuel into the dissolving tank had `come into contact’ with a girder and given off a small cloud of radioactive particles – likely to have been a full mixture of fission products.
The spokesman said the six were employees of the company and were among 20 individuals in the area.
* The UK Atomic Energy Authority confirmed that two Dounreay workers received radiation doses of up to five times the legal limit for nuclear workers from ingesting plutonium.