Two Researchers Exposed to Airborne Radioactivity During Depleted Uranium Cutting Operations
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Type:  Lessons Learned

Publisher:  Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA

Date: 

Topics:  Radiation Protection

Two researchers were exposed to radioactive airborne particles during work to cut depleted uranium (DU)-molybdenum bars. It was the first time the researchers had used a newly-purchased cut-off saw outside of mockups. Based on experience with older saws combined with improved features of the new model, those planning the work assumed that any dispersible DU particles would be contained in the unit. Lessons Learned: Depleted uranium presents a unique challenge with respect to the radioactive, toxic, and pyrophoric hazards associated with cutting operations. Question assumptions during planning and operations and use additional monitoring to validate performance.

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