An investigation is underway at the Faslane submarine base in the Clyde following an incident when a worker was accidentally exposed to radiation.
According to the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), the government's nuclear safety regulator, the incident occurred during a standard procedure when a radiographer approached a radioactive source used for testing materials while it was still exposed. “On realising this, the radiographer returned to the control device and ensured the source was retracted”, said an ONR spokesperson. “The dose accrued was below any notifiable limit.”
“ONR is still awaiting the outcome of HM Naval Base Clyde's investigation and it is therefore not appropriate to comment in detail at this time,” she added.
The incident was reported to ONR in June 2014 but was only revealed in a routine quarterly report for the base which was published online last week. The report stated that the operator received a “small dose” of radiation and is being dealt with in accordance with the Naval Base's arrangements. ONR is “monitoring the situation”.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence said: “During a radiographic procedure similar to an x-ray, a trained member of staff was briefly exposed to 0.037 milliSieverts of radioactive materials.”
“This is well below the safety limit of 0.3 milliSieverts. The worker was in no way harmed”.