Y12 Workers Checked Out after August Incidents at Plant

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Oak Ridge (WVLT) Officials at Y-12 are investigating two incidents of personal skin contamination.

BWX Technologies Spokesperson Bill Wilburn confirmed the two incidents in an e-mail sent to the Volunteer TV Newsroom.

BWX Technologies is the contractor at Y12.

Wilburn says these were the first two cases of personal skin contamination at the facility in nearly four years.

Wilburn says the workers face little health risk from the contamination.

Y-12’s manager of radiological control is heading a team that is looking into these two incidents to determine what kinds of corrective actions need to be taken to prevent further such incidents.

According to Wilburn, the first incident occured on August 14th as Y12 employees were performing a test on a valve in the Enriched Uranium Operations building.

Wilburn says as a pump was switched on to check for leaks, a uranium contaminated liquid sprayed through a drain valve that was slightly open.

He liquid soaked through an engineer's clothing and onto his upper leg.

Wilburn says the decontamination process removed the contamination to below detectable levels.

As a precaution, the engineer's health is being monitored.

Samples were also taken from eight other workers in the immediate area to check for decontamination.

Wilburn says the second incident occured on August 16th, when an employee dropped a bottle causing some liquid to splash onto that worker's clothing.

The bottles was specially designed to store enriched uranium solutions.

The liquid, splashed through the worker's protective clothing.

Wilburn says the employee was also decontaminated at Y-12 on-site medical facilities and subsequently released.

He says this worker will also be monitored as a precautionary measure.

Stay with Volunteer TV News and volunteertv.com for continued coverage of this developing news story.