Thursday, July 28, 2005

LANL Worker's Home Decontaminated

By Adam Rankin
Journal Staff Writer

A federal team of nuclear incident first responders was busy surveying and decontaminating a Los Alamos National Laboratory employee's home Tuesday and checking to see that the contaminated worker didn't spread radioactivity elsewhere, according to lab officials.

"The contamination is very low level, but is serious," wrote Terry Wallace, LANL's associate director for strategic research in a Wednesday e-mail to employees.

"The health and safety of the employees is the absolute first priority, and the present analysis is that only one employee is affected," he wrote.

The uranium researcher at LANL's Sigma complex was contaminated by a sample of radioactive americium. It was part of a July 14 shipment from a neighboring plutonium research facility at the lab, though the Sigma facility is only equipped to handle uranium. The contamination was discovered Monday.

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