The incident occurred because staff stopped carrying portable alarms as they should to alert them to radiation dangers. The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) is warning the MoD that it must take remedial action to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Critics described the incident as “unacceptable” and “worrying”, arguing that it raised renewed questions about nuclear safety on the Clyde. The MoD, however, said that procedures had been improved.
The incident is described in ONR’s latest quarterly report on the Clyde nuclear submarine and bomb bases at Faslane and Coulport, posted online. It happened in June 2014, and prompted an internal investigation by the MoD and then another by ONR safety inspectors.
The worker was subjected to a small burst of radiation from a radioactive source, which had been left partially unshielded. A variety of radiation sources are used in industry as x-rays and gauges.