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5 Workers Exposed to Radiation at French A-Plant

May 22, 1986|United Press International

PARIS — Five workers suffered radiation exposure in an accident Tuesday at La Hague nuclear fuel reprocessing plant on the northern coast of France, company officials reported Wednesday.

Two workers absorbed more radiation than the level considered safe in an entire year but none was injured seriously, spokesman Jean Claude Magnac said at the plant, 215 miles northwest of Paris.

The accident occurred in an annex building of the main plant at La Hague center, operated by the Compagnie Generale des Matieres Nucleaires. The company, a branch of the French government's Commission of Atomic Energy, admitted the accident one day after it happened. Officials would not say why they delayed the report.

Magnac said the five men--two company employees and three subcontractors--suffered radiation exposure while venting a pipe that contained a radioactive solution.

The two company employees received radiation doses of 1.6 and 0.7 rems and the three welders doses of 18, 11 and 0.7 rems.

Five of the rems, a unit for measuring the biological effect of radiation on a human, is the international limit of radiation to which nuclear power plant employees are allowed to be exposed each year.

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