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

Gilan orphaned source, 1996

compiled by Wm. Robert Johnston
last modified 22 September 2007

Date: 24 July 1996

Location: Gilan, Iran

Type of event: lost industrial radiography source


During the night of 23-24 July a radiographer used a 5-Ci iridium-192 source for checking boiler welds at a fossil fuel power plant. The source became detached from the radiography device cable and fell into a trench, unknown to the operator. About 8:00 AM on 24 July a worker discovered the pencil-sized source and put it in a chest pocket. He occasionally removed it and examined it over the next 90 minutes, at which time he began to experience dizziness, nausea, lethagy, and a burning feeling in the chest; he then returned the source to where he had found it. Operators had discovered the source was missing at 9:00 and found it at 10:00, unaware that someone had suffered exposure. The exposed worker reported his illness at 13:00. The worker received a whole body dose of 450 rem and larger localized doses (up to 5,000 rad to the chest) requiring plastic surgery.

Consequences: 1 injury.


© 2004-2006, 2007 by Wm. Robert Johnston.
Last modified 22 September 2007.
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