Bordeaux University: discovery of radioactive sources and incidental exposure of persons

Two radioactive sources were discovered by the Bordeaux University prevention service in a very cluttered and regularly frequented room during a housekeeping operation carried out at the end of June 2015.

As soon as they were discovered, the sources were transferred for safe storage in a room specially intended for that purpose within the university campus.

On 4 September the university's radiation protection service conducted an inspection to determine the radiological characteristics of the retrieved sources. Risks of irradiation and contamination were evidenced around one of the two sources. It is an unidentified source displaying a dose rate of 3.4 mSv/h on contact.

The radiological inspection of the room did not reveal any radioactive contamination.

On the other hand, according to the first received dose estimates, a person working in this room would have received a dose approaching 20 mSv/year and several others (member of the public) would have received a dose slightly higher than the annual regulatory limit set for the general public (1 mSv).

ASN carried out an inspection at Bordeaux University on 1 October 2015 to examine the circumstances of this event. Further to this inspection, ASN asked that an action plan be engaged to prevent a similar event occurring again, and that an estimate be made of the effective doses received by all the personnel that could have been exposed to the ionising radiation.

Location: Bordeaux University
Event date: Tue, 30-06-2015
Nuclear event report
Legenda & explanation