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Last Updated: Friday, 12 September, 2003, 08:50 GMT 09:50 UK
Dounreay staff contaminated by radiation
Sign at Dounreay
Parts of the Dounreay site are being decommissioned
An investigation has begun after two workers at the Dounreay nuclear plant were contaminated.

The incident happened last week in a redundant fuel processing facility at the plant in the north of Scotland.

A Dounreay spokesman described the radiation dose as "negligible" and said neither man had suffered any harm.

The government announced in June 2002 that nuclear fuel reprocessing at Dounreay would end. Parts of the site are now being decommissioned.

Hydraulic fluid

The men were dismantling equipment in an area once used to process spent nuclear fuel rods when hydraulic fluid leaked onto their protective overalls.

Both were found to have spots of radioactivity on parts of their forearms and legs and the hair of one of the workers.

The other was taken to the site's occupational health department where a nurse helped decontaminate him.

"The men were cutting through pipes while working on an old hydraulic lift, which used to be used to move the flasks containing nuclear fuel," said the spokesman.

"Some fluid fell on to their overalls. The contamination was detected immediately and both were sent to be cleaned in the plant."

He added that an initial assessment showed there was no evidence that the two workers had suffered any ill-effects.

Both men had returned to work the following day.

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