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AF Fined for '86 Radioactive Spill

June 13, 1989|From United Press International

DAYTON, Ohio — A 1986 radioactive spill at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base here prompted the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Monday to order its first-ever fine against a military agency.

The NRC levied a $102,500 fine against the Air Force for failing to report the spill of americium-241 and for radioactive contamination of an employee who helped clean up the accident.

The NRC told the Air Force to pay the fine within 30 days or request a hearing in the matter.

Lt. June Green, spokeswoman for the secretary of the Air Force, said the Air Force was reviewing the order and expected to make a decision within the allotted time.

The americium-241 contaminated a storage shed at the base in September, 1986, resulting in a $2-million cleanup, one of the costliest nuclear accidents in Air Force history. The illegally stored radioactive powder leaked when workers conducting an inventory of the shed accidentally opened a drum containing the material.

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