Water leak in VTT's research facilities in the Centre for Nuclear Safety


VTT has reported to the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority of Finland about a water leakage in the research facilities of the Centre for Nuclear Safety in Otaniemi on 3 April due to a risk of contamination. Water damage occurred in the basement of the research facilities due to incorrect usage of a system related to sample handling. Water leaking from an open valve onto the basement floor was collected in tanks with water-suction equipment. Measurements showed that no one involved in the work was contaminated or received abnormal personal doses.

Approximately 3000 litres of water were spilled during the leak. The laboratory is designed to prevent water used for cooling from escaping outside. For example, there are no floor drains that could lead to water entering the public sewer. More detailed measurements of the water have not yet been carried out, but it is unlikely that the water contains radioactivity in excess of the release limits.  

Wipe samples taken from the floor the following day showed no contamination. Access restrictions to the facility will be lifted after further investigations.

The VTT Centre for Nuclear Safety houses laboratories and research facilities specialised in nuclear safety. The hot cells are used to study irradiated materials and to perform failure analyses, among other things.  

To prevent a similar human error in the future, VTT is developing a system for detecting, turning off and alarming leaks in the facility.

The use of nuclear energy and radiation in Finland is supervised by the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK).

More information on activities and services of the VTT Centre for Nuclear Safety 

Petri Kotiluoto
Petri Kotiluoto
Research Team Leader
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