A depressurization of a cylinder with depleted uranium hexafluoride (uranium tails) occurred at an electrochemical plant in Novouralsk, Sverdlovsk Region.
“We regret to inform you that as a result of a production incident at UEIP on the morning of July 14, one of our colleagues received a mechanical injury incompatible with life, it was not possible to save him,” says a comment posted in the official group of the enterprise on VKontakte. . “A mechanic for maintenance of gas separation production equipment, born in 1958, died.”
The employees of the plant promised to provide all necessary assistance to the family of the deceased colleague.
After the accident, the rest of the workshop personnel were evacuated, sanitization was carried out there.
“The situation is of a local nature and is limited to the territory of the production site,” assured the public relations department of the Ural Electrochemical Plant. — The radiation situation at the enterprise and beyond is normal (the activity of depleted uranium is less than that of natural uranium ore). There is no danger to the residents of Novouralsk and the personnel of the plant.”
The press service of the enterprise clarified that the causes of the incident are being established. The plant is operating normally.
The head of Novouralsk, Vyacheslav Tyumentsev, also confirmed through social networks that local residents are out of danger.
“I appeal to the residents of Novouralsk with a request not to panic, not to spread messages through instant messengers,” Tyumentsev wrote on his Vkontakte page. Take care of your loved ones, explain to friends and family that there is no danger. The situation is under control.”
The comment, spread by the UEIP press service, was also repeated by Yury Mineev, deputy general director for production of this enterprise. The video was also published on the page of Vyacheslav Tyumentsev in Vkontakte.
“There is no danger for the inhabitants of Novouralsk and the personnel of the plant,” Mineev repeated.
The E1.ru publication reported that “more than a hundred workers” would be taken to the Novouralsk hospital for examination.
“Employees who were in the production room of the shop at the time of the incident were sent for a medical examination at the Central Medical Unit No. 31 of the FMBA of Russia in Novouralsk,” the press service of UEIP specified. “Most of them have already been sent home, nothing threatens their lives and health.”
JSC “Ural Electrochemical Combine” is the world’s largest enterprise for the enrichment of uranium supplied to meet the needs for nuclear fuel of nuclear power plants and other nuclear power plants. The technological buildings of UEIP contain 48% of the separation capacities of Russia.
Depleted uranium hexafluoride (uranium tailings) is a by-product of processing uranium hexafluoride into enriched uranium. The compound is 1.7 times less radioactive than natural uranium and does not pose a threat to human health.