Worker exposed to radiation on the job

A Red Deer resident working for a Calgary company was exposed to a radioactive material while working in Manitoba.

A Red Deer resident working for a Calgary company was exposed to a radioactive material while working in Manitoba.

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission has ordered Canadian Sub-Surface Energy Sub Services Inc. to halt its use of nuclear material following the exposure of the unnamed employee.

The employee was working on a site near Goodlands, Man., on Aug. 13 when he forgot to put the radioactive substance back in its protective container.

A day later, he realized his error and returned the material to its container before storing it in the back of the truck and driving back to his home base in Red Deer.

Company president Brad Gabel said the employee was checked at a hospital and since he was suffering no ill effects, was cleared to return to work.

He also said there was no risk to the public or the environment.

Gabel said his company is conducting a full investigation and working with the commission.

The commission also became alarmed on Aug. 27, when a commission staff member visited the Red Deer offices of Canadian Sub-Service and discovered that the shipping containers used during the transportation of the company’s cesium sources had been modified and company staff were unable to explain when the modifications were performed and by whom.

The commission, in accordance with the Nuclear Safety and Control Act, ordered several measures to the company. The company was ordered to immediately cease operational use of all nuclear substances in its possession or under its care or control.

It was also ordered to conduct a written inventory of the nuclear substances in its possession or under its care or control and provide the results of that inventory to the commission.

It must also refrain from the transportation or transfer of any nuclear substance in its possession or under its care or control.

It was also ordered not to import or export any nuclear substance.

The commission’s review is ongoing.

Commission spokesman Sunni Locatelli said the commission is satisfied the radioactive material is safely stored and poses no risk.