Database of radiological incidents and related events--Johnston's Archive

Scotland radiography accident, 1969

compiled by Wm. Robert Johnston
last modified 18 September 2007

Date: 20 September 1969

Location: Scotland, United Kingdom

Type of event: accidental exposure to radiography source


On 20 September a radiographer was transporting a 25 curie iridium-192 source to a work site for radiography of gas pipelines. He loaded the source into the front seat of his car and drove 3 hours to his destination, when a co-worker noticed that the source housing was open, directing a radiation beam towards the driver's seat. The radiographer developed skin injury on the chest on 2 October, with symptoms worse by 5 October when he went to a doctor. Injury to one hand also developed. A large ulcer developed on the chest, requiring surgery in April 1970. Damage to two ribs and the heart muscle were identified, with an estimated dose of 2,000-20,000 rad to the skin, 2,000 to the heart muscle, and 1,500 to the hand; whole body dose was estimated at 60 rad. Accident reconstruction suggested that the source may have been adjacent to the skin of the chest, but the radiographer denied this possibility.

Consequences: 1 injury.


© 2004-2006, 2007 by Wm. Robert Johnston.
Last modified 18 September 2007.
Return to Home. Return to Nuclear Weapons Resources. Return to Database of radiological incidents and related events.