Monday, July 16, 2012
NRC: Company to take steps after yellowcake mishap
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, July 06, 2012
CHEYENNE, Wyo. — The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission says a Canadian company has agreed to take steps to improve safety after three workers were exposed to yellowcake from Wyoming.
Yellowcake is a form of uranium that has been mined but not yet processed into nuclear fuel.
The NRC says the accident happened June 23 at a facility in Canada. The lid on a 55-gallon drum containing yellowcake blew off and ejected almost 60 pounds of yellowcake into the air.
The NRC says three workers were exposed to airborne uranium.
The NRC announced Friday that Toronto-based Uranium One has agreed to investigate and develop a plan to ensure the safety or other yellowcake drums from Wyoming.
Workers sprayed with uranium dust at Cameco refinery
CBC News Posted: Jul 12, 2012
Three workers at a Cameco processing facility in Ontario were exposed to airborne uranium dust in an incident at the Saskatchewan company's Blind River refinery last month, federal regulators say.
The exposure happened June 23 when a worker loosened a ring clamp on a 208-litre drum of uranium oxide yellowcake. The lid blew off, injecting about 26 kilograms of the material into the air.
The worker closest to the drum and two others in the area, who were not wearing respirators, were exposed to the dust.
The drum came from the U.S. company Uranium One's Willow Creek facility in Wyoming.
According to the U.S. government, several other Uranium One drums that had been shipped to Blind River were found to be bulging from internal pressure.
It says Cameco has stopped opening containers of yellowcake from the Willow Creek facility until they can develop a plan to safely do so.
Uranium One is investigating how the drums became pressurized.
Cameco says it has has run tests, including urinalysis, on all three workers and the results suggest none of them breathed in a significant amount of uranium. Decontamination procedures were taken immediately after the accident, the company said.
"Obviously, we open thousands of drums like this from around the world at Blind River, and we've never had an incident like this before," Cameco spokesman Gord Struthers said.
According to the U.S. federal regulator, any adverse health effects to the workers would likely be caused by chemical
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