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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 April 4 - 10  > Uranium mishandled at NFI Tokai Works
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2007 April 4 - 10 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Uranium mishandled at NFI Tokai Works

April 6, 2007
Nuclear Fuel Industries, Ltd. (NFI) announced on April 5 that mishandling of uranium occurred at its Tokai Works in Tokai Village (Ibaraki Pref.) in February.

On February 24, in order to move 18 kilograms of uranium, workers used a box that is designed to be used to contain uranium of 15kg or less. Same mishandling occurred twice more later in that day.

In order to prevent a criticality accident, the amount of uranium that can be handled at one time is regulated. According to the NFI’s calculation, putting uranium of 31kg or more into the box will cause criticality.

These cases were very similar to the mishandling of uranium in 1999 at JCO in Tokai Village that caused a criticality accident. At that time, uranium nitrate solution was put into the wrong bucket, killing two workers and exposing many others, including ordinary residents, to radiation.
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