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

Constituyentes research reactor accident, 1983

compiled by Wm. Robert Johnston
last modified 14 September 2005

Date: 23 September 1983

Location: RA-2 Facility, Constituyentes, Argentina

Type of event: criticality accident in research reactor


An accident occurred during operation of the RA-2 research reactor. Two fuel elements had been placed outside the graphite reflector surrounding the reactor but had not been removed from the tank. A technician was changing the fuel configuration from the control room while moderating water was in the reactor, a procedural violation. A criticality excursion occurred, exposing the operator to a 3,700-rad dose (2000 rad gamma and 1700 rad neutron), with the upper right side of the body exposed the worst. The operator died 2 days later. Two others in the control room received doses of 35 rad each.

Consequences: 1 fatality.


© 2004, 2005 by Wm. Robert Johnston.
Last modified 14 September 2005.
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