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

Lilo orphaned sources, 1996-1997

compiled by Wm. Robert Johnston
last modified 10 July 2022

Date: June 1996-9 October 1997

Location: Lilo Training Center, Tbilsi, Georgia

Type of event: lost sources


From April to August 1997 several soldiers at the Lilo Training Centre developed skin lesions, which were recognized as radiation burns in August. On 26 August a radiation hot spot was discoverd at the training site near an underground shelter. On 13 September a source was removed from one soldier's jacket. Eleven patients had been identified by October with radiation ulcers, in 9 cases extending to the muscles. Several individuals suffered vomiting. Twelve individual cesium-137 sources were found, including several 30 cm underground in a soccer field, 10 cm below ground in a smoking area, some in lead containers, and one in the soldier's jacket. In addition one cobalt-60 source and 200 sighting devices containing radium-226 were found. Estimated doses are as high as (for the 11 individuals) 590, 420, 410, 150, 110, 110, 70, 60, 60, 20, and 20 rem. Seven were still under treatment in 1999.

Consequences: 11 injuries.


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Last modified 10 July 2022.
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