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Last Updated: Friday, 18 May 2007, 14:39 GMT 15:39 UK
Dounreay radiation case adjourned
The operator is alleged to have breached health and safety laws
A case against the operators of the Dounreay nuclear plant over allegations they caused an employee to breathe in plutonium has been adjourned.

The motion was granted at Wick Sheriff Court to allow lawyers for the UK Atomic Energy Authority more time to prepare their case.

The worker suffered the radioactive intake at the Caithness plant in January last year.

The case will recall on 14 June, when the UKAEA is likely to enter a plea.

The prosecution followed an investigation by inspectors into record keeping and the storage of material at a former fuel reprocessing laboratory that the employee had been sent to help decommission.

The charge, brought under the Health and Safety at Work Act, cites the source of contamination as a number of lead bricks.

Earlier this year, the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate, the nuclear industry's on-site regulator, served two formal improvement notices on the UK Atomic Energy Authority.

It was ordered to take action to remedy shortcomings identified in record-keeping and storage of material at the laboratory.

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