Medical Radiology and Radiation Safety. 2016. Vol. 61. No. 2. P. 79-82


G.V. Zhuntova1, T.V. Azizova1, A.V. Ephimov1, E.K. Vasilenko1, N.V. Sotnik1, N.N. Dudchenko2, I.A. Vologodskaya2, E.P. Phomin2

Medical Assistance After Plutonium Intake by a Worker Due to an Emergency Situation During Production Operations

1. Southern Urals Biophysics Institute of FMBA, Ozyorsk, Russia, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; 2. Central Medical Sanitary Department No. 71 of FMBA, Ozyorsk, Russia


We consider a case of 239Pu intake by a worker as a result of a production manufacturing unit rupture during repair operations. The worker received a contused wound of an index finger of his right hand and anterior abdominal wall contusion. The initial 239Pu burden in the areas of finger and abdominal skin injuries were 2000 and 40 kBq, respectively. The committed effective dose from internal radiation over 50 years (CED50) assuming the complete transfer of the measured 239Pu burden from original site of the intake into body fluids and eventual accumulation in main organs of deposition was 54 Sv. Radionuclide-contaminated tissues of the finger and the anterior abdominal wall were excised; however it became necessary to amputate the index finger of the right hand to avoid potentially harmful contamination. A dosimetry screening revealed that injured skin was not the only route by which 239Pu entered the worker’s body, but respiratory and digestive organs were also involved. The duration of chelation therapy (5 % pentacin solution) was 4 months. The final estimate of CED50 from internal radiation based on data on natural excretion of actinides was 25 ± 11 mSv. Thus, timely specialized medical assistance allowed avoiding significant transfer of 239Pu from the sites of original deposition to the worker’s body and decreasing the dose from internal alpha-radiation by a large factor.

Key words: plutonium intake, incident, pentacin


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For citation: Zhuntova GV, Azizova TV, Ephimov AV, Vasilenko EK, Sotnik NV, Dudchenko NN, Vologodskaya IA, Phomin EP. Medical Assistance after Plutonium Intake by a Worker due to an Emergency Situation during Production Operations. Medical Radiology and Radiation Safety. 2016;61(2):79-82. Russian.

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