Westinghouse employee in SC OK after radioactive spill

Westinghouse (Source: WIS)
Westinghouse (Source: WIS)
Updated: Nov. 27, 2018 at 4:44 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission confirmed that a Westinghouse employee is OK after a small nuclear spill earlier this month.

U.S. NRC Public Affairs Officer Joey Ledford said Westinghouse reported the incident on Nov. 19. A plant worker spilled a small amount of radioactive material on the leg of his coveralls.

He was transported to a local hospital where it was determined that he had no chemical or radioactive exposures or health concerns due to the spill.

Ledford said that there will be an event notification on the incident by Westinghouse but it has not been made public yet. The incident will also be reflected on the NRC’s website.

The Westinghouse plant is located at 5801 Bluff Road in Hopkins.

In a statement about this incident, Sarah Cassella, the external communications manager for Westinghouse, said: “On November 19, 2018, a Westinghouse fuel facility employee came into contact with a minor amount of process liquid that included hydrofluoric acid. The employee was examined onsite and also sent to a local medical facility for observation out of an abundance of caution. Having exhibited no symptoms, the employee was discharged. We promptly reported the event per our requirements as the individual had minor radioactive material contamination on his hands. The health and safety of our employees is our first priority and we are conducting a full internal review of the cause of the issue.”

The neighboring community has expressed concern about the nuclear plant, with a number of residents speaking to officials with Westinghouse and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control following the discovery of a nuclear leak.

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