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

Forbach irradiator accident, 1991

compiled by Wm. Robert Johnston
last modified 23 September 2007

Date: 13 August 1991

Location: Forbach, France

Type of event: accident at industrial irradiator


An accident occurred at an electron accelerator irradiator used to treat granulated polytetrafluoroethylene (Teflon). Three workers entered the irradiation room using the exit and were exposed to the dark current: the accelerator was switched off but accelerator voltage was still on, the result of a decision to save time. Exposure rate was between 10 and several hundred rad per second (compared to a maximum 8 megarad/second when the accelerator is on). The three received localized doses, one severe enough to produce skin legions. The skin doses were estimated at 4,000 rem (whole body dose 100 rem in this case) for the worker with the worst injury and 900 and 500 rem for the other two workers.

Consequences: 3 injuries.


© 2004-2006, 2007 by Wm. Robert Johnston.
Last modified 23 September 2007.
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