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12/6/2014 by mdc
Mead Gruver reports that the worker urine tested positive for uranium at close to seven times the federal agency permissible level, the federal agency alleges in a Nov. 14 violation notice against Lost Creek LLC ISR, a subsidiary of Littleton, Colorado-based Ur-Energy. The alleged violation ranked as the least severe of the four NRC categories of violations.

The spill occurred Nov. 28, 2013, at the Lost Creek in-situ uranium mine in south-central Wyoming. Some 1,500 pounds of yellowcake, a precursor of enriched uranium, spilled onto the floor of a processing building while a worker was filling a 55-gallon drum with the dry, powdery substance, according to the notice. Uranium in the worker urine afterward tested between 24 and 102.5 milligrams per liter - the NRC limit is 15. The employees involved in the cleanup had no ill effects, and their exposure remained well below the maximum allowable annual limit the workers were wearing respirators at the time.

The NRC cited the company for failing to issue a radiation work permit for cleaning up yellowcake. The radiation safety officer who would have done so took part in the cleanup, Heili said. None of the yellowcake escaped the building, he said, and the company has taken steps to prevent another spill.

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