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

Saintes irradiator accident, 1981

compiled by Wm. Robert Johnston
last modified 5 January 2005

Date: 2 April 1981

Location: Saintes, France

Type of event: accidental irradiation with teletherapy source


While a technician was changing the cobalt-60 source in a teletherapy machine, the source fell to the ground. The technician picked up the source, touching it for 11 seconds. The dose to the hands was over 10,000 rad, and both hands had to be amputated. A second operator had to have both hands amputated, and a third had three fingers amputated. Eight other individuals in the room received doses of 1 rad to 100 rad.

Consequences: 3 injuries.


© 2004, 2005 by Wm. Robert Johnston.
Last modified 5 January 2005.
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