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A prompt and efficient evacuation was initiated by the sounding of the criticality alarm system. The largest individual dose received was less than five rem. There was no damage to the equipment or radioactive contamination. The accident occurred (despite the fact that the vessels were steam cleaned monthly) presumably because of a rather quick and large accumulation of both organic and aqueous solutions. Subsequently, changes were made to the process design and between January and September 1964, large numbers of process vessels were replaced.

5 l ) was stored in a concrete shielded room for one year, then reprocessed. Four people standing at a distance of 10 m from the collection vessel received radiation doses of 6 to 17 rad. No damage occurred to the vessel nor was there any contamination of the surroundings. The process was inoperative for no more than 12 hours. 13. Siberian Chemical Combine, 2 December 1963 Uranium organic solution, U(90), in a vacuum system holding vessel; multiple excursions; insignificant exposures. This accident occurred in an enriched uranium, U(90), reprocessing and purification facility.

Following the accident, procurement of favorable geometry equipment was accelerated and installation was completed before restarting operations. The downtime was about six weeks. To provide enhanced safety, improved techniques for the sampling of solids were implemented and the importance of adherence to procedural controls was emphasized. The accident resulted in the death, 36 hours later, of the operator who was looking into a sight glass when the motor was turned on. The dose to his upper torso was estimated to have been 12,000 ± 50% rem.

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A Review of Criticality Accidents [LA-13638]

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