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Radiation-Exposed Workers Demand Video Of IDAHO Accident...

 Idaho National Laboratory (Image from flickr.com @inl)

Idaho National Laboratory (Image from flickr.com @inl)

Two workers have filed a lawsuit against the Department of Energy for failing to comply with the Freedom of Information Act by refusing to hand over a video of an incident in which 16 men, including the two plaintiffs, were exposed to radiation.

Brian Simmons and Ralph Stanton, two operators from the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) in Boise, are trying to force the agency to release the video through a lawsuit filed in federal court.

In their complaint, the workers described the radiation incident, which occurred on Nov. 8, 2011. Together with workers from two other facilities, Simmons and Stanton were packaging plutonium reactor fuel plates. Two of the fuel storage containers had “unusual labels” indicating that there could be some abnormalities with the fuel plates that were inside. But the labels did not warn of any danger, and when workers came across a fuel plate wrapped in plastic and tape, they unwrapped it. A black powder spilled out of the box, and at least 16 of the workers inhaled plutonium-239, which can damage internal organs and cause cancer. Seven of the employees came in direct contact with the powder, suffering external contamination of the skin.

“When the workers attempted to remove the wrapping material, an uncontrolled release of radioactive contaminants occurred, resulting in contamination of 16 workers and the facility, including plaintiffs Brian Simmons and Ralph Stanton,” the lawsuit states. “The sequence of events leading up to the release of contaminants, the uncontrolled release itself, and the emergency response at the [Zero Power Physics Reactor] facility were all recorded on video.” Continue reading via RT.com  . . .

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