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After a chemical leak in the treatment of three people at Sydney's Lucas Heights nuclear facility



Updated

March 1, 2019 10:15:24

Three Lucas Heights nuclear plant workers have been cleaned after a chemical leak.

Key points:

  • Australia's only nuclear reactor is located in Lucas Heights, about 40 km south of Sydney CBD
  • Two men and women were cleaned and taken to the Sutherland hospital
  • There have been several dangers to the mechanism in recent years

A representative of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization (ANSTO) said that workers were exposed to sodium hydroxide when the tube was removed from the nuclear medicine building.

NSW Ambulance said the chemicals splashed on the hands and faces of both men and women, all of whom went to the Sutherland Hospital for further evaluation.

Sodium hydroxide is very toxic and can cause severe burns.

The representative of the ANSTO said that the building in which the accident occurred was not related to a nuclear reactor.

"Before the morning this morning, a tube was removed that caused about 250 ml of sodium hydroxide to leak," he said in a statement.

"Three employees were involved. Emergency services visited the ANS and three involved staff were taken to the hospital for monitoring.

"This event took place in a nuclear medicine production facility that is not linked to the OPAL nuclear reactor.

"More information will be provided later today."

Pollution fear

The object of Lucas Heights, about 40 kilometers south of the Sydney CBD, has been polluted several times in recent years.

In August 2017, the worker received ulcers on his hands when receiving a vial of radioactive material and was contaminated with two pairs of gloves.

The event was considered the most serious in the world in 2017, according to the International Nuclear Event Scale – Global Classification of Nuclear Incidents.

ANSTO apologized to an employee who was exposed to radioactive material and prepared an "action plan".

In October 2018, an independent site review was carried out and found to be failing to meet modern nuclear safety standards and to replace it.

In the same week, the ANSTO confirmed that five workers had received a radiation dose, but the radiation was "less than the chest x-ray".

Themes:

nuclear power,

disasters and accidents

workplace,

Lucas-Heights-2234

It was first published

March 1, 2019 09:35:57


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