Event Reporting: Class II Nuclear Facilities
(These facilities are used in medicine, cancer therapy and research)

2021

Alberta Health Services

Date of notification: May 19, 2021

On May 19, 2021, Alberta Health Services informed the CNSC that, according to the dose report for the first quarter of 2021 from a licensed dosimetry provider, a nuclear energy worker (NEW) had received an effective dose of 145.83 mSv. This dose exceeds the prescribed annual radiation dose limit of 50 mSv for a NEW.

The licensee indicated that the dose may not be a personal dose to the individual and is currently investigating.

CNSC staff confirmed that the worker was immediately removed from any work that could contribute to further doses and that the licensee is following all regulatory requirements.

A preliminary update will be provided at the Commission meeting on June 8, 2021, and a full report will be provided to the Commission when the event investigation is complete.

There is no impact on the health and safety of the public or the environment.

Jubilant DraxImage

Date of notification: April 20, 2021

On April 20, 2021, the CNSC was informed by Jubilant DraxImage that a vial containing I-131 was spilled inside a ventilated, radiation-shielded box on April 19, 2021. As a result of the spill and the nature of the nuclear substance, the ambient concentration of I-131 in the room quickly became elevated and all workers were evacuated. All of the workers involved in the event are nuclear energy workers.

Initial thyroid monitoring results for one worker involved in the event indicated that an intake had occurred, resulting in an estimated effective dose of approximately 47 mSv. As of April 25, following an additional series of thyroid measurements, the estimate of the worker’s committed effective dose was refined and estimated to be 33 mSv.

The worker is being monitored on a daily basis to refine the dose estimate.

An update was provided at the CNSC Commission hearing on April 27, 2021, and a full report will be provided to the Commission when the event investigation is complete.

This event has had no impact on the health and safety of the public or the environment.

2020

CancerCare Manitoba

Date of notification: March 10, 2020

On March 10, 2020, the CNSC was informed by CancerCare Manitoba that a dosimeter assigned to a worker had recorded an effective radiation dose of 3.54mSv. This was above the prescribed annual radiation dose limit for a non-nuclear energy worker of 1 mSv.

The worker was removed from work and an investigation was carried out to determine the cause of the exposure. Following the licensee’s investigation and a technical assessment by CNSC staff, it was concluded that some of the exposure could be attributed to non-licensee-related activities. The worker was then authorized to return to work.

The worker in question did not exhibit any health effects from this event and none are expected.

This event had no impact on the health and safety of the public or the environment.

2019

Alberta Health Services

Date of notification: November 27, 2019

On November 27, 2019, the CNSC was informed by Alberta Health Services that a nuclear medicine technologist had an effective radiation dose recorded on their quarterly dosimeter of 56.91 mSv, exceeding the prescribed annual radiation dose limit for a nuclear energy worker of 50 mSv. The technologist stopped work immediately.

Alberta Health Services conducted an investigation into the event. CNSC staff reviewed and assessed the information provided by the licensee and concurs with the results, which indicated the likely cause for the elevated dosimeter result was a localized contamination on the dosimeter itself.

Following the investigation, the licensee requested an authorization for the technologist to return to work, which was approved on December 20, 2019. The worker in question did not exhibit any health effects from this event and none are expected. There was no impact to the health and safety of the public or the environment due to this event.

Provincial Health Services Authority (Vancouver)

Date of notification: May 13, 2019

On May 13, 2019, the Provincial Health Services Authority based in Vancouver, BC notified the CNSC that a worker (not designated as a nuclear energy worker) had received a dose of 1.85 mSv. The regulatory dose limit for a member of the public is 1 mSv per year. The dose is suspected to be non-personal; however, this could not be determined with certainty. At this level of exposure, there is no risk of radiation-related health effects. CNSC staff are satisfied with the actions taken by the licensee.

2018

Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation

Date of event: September 19, 2018

On September 19, 2018, the Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation informed the CNSC of a pressure loss in the target chamber during carbon-11 target bombardment testing at the cyclotron facility. A minor carbon-11 release into the environment was detected. The cyclotron was shut down and an investigation to determine the source of the leak is under way.

Carbon-11 has a very short half-life, so no impact to public health or the environment is expected.

For more information: fedorukcentre.ca/news/news-releases/nr20180920.php

2017

Vancouver Coastal Health Authority

Date of event: March 1, 2017

Vancouver General Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia

On March 3, 2017, the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority informed the CNSC of an overexposure to a nuclear energy worker (NEW), who was administering therapeutic doses of liquid iodine-131 to two patients at the Vancouver General Hospital. The calculated maximum dose was 2,327 mSv (2.3 Sv) to the right hand and 114 mSv to the left hand. The regulatory dose limit for NEWs for dose to the hand is 500 mSv per year. There has been no health effect noted since the incident. No physical effects of the exposure are expected.

The event will be discussed at a public Commission meeting on April 12, 2017.

2016

Vancouver Coastal Health Authority

Date of event: October 28, 2016

Lions Gate Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia

The CNSC was informed by Vancouver Coastal Health that a nuclear energy worker working at the Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver was exposed to a radiation dose in excess of the applicable dose limit prescribed by the Radiation Protection Regulations on October 28, 2016. During a routine administration of Yttrium-90 to patients, the worker conducting the injections experienced contamination of the hands. The calculated maximum dose the worker received was 1,098.8 mSv (1.1 Sv). The regulatory dose limit is 500 mSv per year. The worker has had no health effects since the incident, and no physical effects from the exposure are expected.

This unfortunate event will be discussed at a public Commission meeting on December 14, 2016.

2015

Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital

Date of event: January 12, 2015

Isotope production facility, Montreal

The CNSC has been informed that a possible overexposure of a nuclear energy worker has occurred at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital. The licensee has removed the individual from duties that could add to the dose, as required by section 16(b) of the Radiation Protection Regulations, and is conducting an investigation. The licensee has also filed a report with Quebec's Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail. The CNSC will continue to report on the situation as further information becomes available.

Visit the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital's website for more information.

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