Database of radiological incidents and related events--Johnston's Archive

Mol research reactor accident, 1965

compiled by Wm. Robert Johnston
last modified 14 September 2005

Date: 30 December 1965

Location: VENUS assembly, Mol, Belgium

Type of event: criticality accident with research reactor


The VENUS research reactor used uranium dixoide fuel rods containing 7% enriched uranium in a tank of water; at the time of the accident, 30% of the water was heavy water. During manipulation of control rods, an operator erroneously began extracting a control rod before reinserting another. The operator observed a glow in the bottom of the reactor, immediately dropped the control rod and left the room. His left foot, which was over the reactor at the time of the accident, absorbed 1750-4000 rem and had to be amputated; the dose to his chest was about 500 rem.

Consequences: 1 injury.


© 2004, 2005 by Wm. Robert Johnston.
Last modified 14 September 2005.
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