United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Morning Report for February 17, 2004

Headquarters Daily Report

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Chemical Spill at Mallinckrodt, Inc.


Dockets: 03000001

License No:

MR Number: 3-2004-0014
Date: 02/17/2004

Licensee notified RIII by tel


The licensee telephoned Region III at 7:45 a.m. to report a chemical spill involving sulfur dioxide. The chemical spill did not: (1) involve radioactive material; (2) result in adverse radiological consequences; or (3) impact NRC licensed activities.

At 6:00 a.m. on February 17, 2004, a licensee employee inadvertently mixed water treatment chemicals (i.e., sodium bisulfite and phosphuric acid) in Building 600. The chemicals reacted resulting in release of sulfur dioxide. The sulfur dioxide was drawn into the Heating Ventilation Air Condition system and vented into the cafeteria. The licensee activated its Emergency Response Organization, and police and fire departments responded. Eight victims were transported to a hospital for treatment of minor respiratory injuries. The event resulted in significant media interest. The fire department contained the spill by 7:45 a.m. The licensee determined that the actual sulfur dioxide levels were 1,000 times below the level requiring declaration of an Alert, the first Emergency Action Level in the licensee's Emergency Response Plan. The licensee deactivated its Emergency Response Organization at 8:30 a.m. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources was notified of the event.

Regional Action: Region III will review the licensee's response to the event during the next routine inspection.


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