An accident at the Savannah River Site (SRS) near Aiken, S.C. has left a worker with third degree burns to his neck and hand that required skin grafts, according to reports from the Department of Energy (DOE).
A subcontractor electrician received a shock Aug. 7 while working on a power system at the MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility (MOX), according to details released this week. The subcontractor has suspended work until an investigation is completed.
The Egizii, LLC employee "received an electrical shock while working on a 480-volt temporary power system," reports say.
The electrician was changing out a cord plug on a 480-volt cable when another worker plugged the other end of the cable into a 480-volt source. The resulting current caused the electrician to be clamped to the cable and thrown back against a section of rebar that grounded to his neck. An electrical circuit breaker tripped at the source and released the electrician's grip on the cable, according to DOE.
The MOX project has been under construction for three years, as of Aug. 1, and on the anniversary claimed 4.5 million safe work hours.
The man, who has not been named, was taken to a local hospital, where he was awake and communicating clearly. He sustained a 3rd-degree burn to an index finger and to an area on the back of his neck. The burns required skin grafts.
"The work area was secured and the power system was de-energized. An investigation commenced immediately," a DOE report stated.
The $4.8 billion MOX facility being constructed at SRS near Aiken, S.C. is scheduled to open in 2016, is designed to dispose of 34 metric tons of surplus weapons-grade plutonium by using small amounts to make fuel for commercial reactors.
The MOX accident is the second recently at SRS. In July a worker was treated for a puncture wound while working on repackaging of transuranic waste. The unidentified male was reported to have contamination under his skin. Since then work has been halted and DOE has initiated a Type-B investigation along with the contractor, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, investigating themselves. Type-B investigations cover serious accidents.