Seven Hinkley Point workers exposed to radiation
Bridgwater Mercury, Thursday 23rd July 2009, By David Hemming
HINKLEY Point B has admitted today that seven workers have been exposed to radiation, The Mercury can reveal.
The firm which runs the nuclear power plant near Bridgwater says the contractors were asked to leave the radiation controlled area as a precaution after the incident last week.
A spokesman for EDF Energy told the Mercury the workers were sent to a testing facility in Oxfordshire and were found to have been exposed to the same amount of radiation emitted in a dental X-ray.
It was also confirmed that all staff at the plant were informed of the incident the same day.
The spokesman said: "This was an incident we would have preferred not to have happened, but no one's health is at risk."
Hinkley workers in radiation scare
6:08pm Thursday 23rd July 2009, By David Hemming
A CORRIDOR inside Hinkley Point B power station became contaminated exposing eight workers to radiation.
The eight contractors, one more than first thought, were working in the shutdown R3 Reactor on Thursday carrying out valve replacement works when a corridor in the gas bypass plant was polluted.
Safety officers quickly identified the leak, and all eight workmen were asked to leave the radiation-controlled area as a precaution while a clean up recovery programme was carried out.
EDF Energy, the firm in charge of the plant, said an event recovery team was set up to deal with the leak, and it was quickly established the workers had been exposed to very low levels of contamination.
Each contractor was then decontaminated and given onsite support before later being assessed at the Health Protection Agency's Harwell facility in Oxfordshire.
EDF spokesman Gordon Bell said: "The maximum whole body dose to any individual was 5microSv, which is the equivalent of a dental X-ray.
"No injuries were sustained and there was no threat to members of the public or to the integrity of the plant.
"The associated reactor unit, R3, is on its statutory outage, while the second unit is unaffected and continues to operate as normal."
Mr Bell added that none of the workers have been on sick leave since the incident and investigations are still ongoing.