83-day Death By Radiation Poisoning
Hisashi Ouchi Suffered an 83-day Death By Radiation Poisoning
Japan, 35-year-old Hisashi Ouchi
two other workers were purifying uranium oxide to make fuel rods for a research reactor.
As this account published a few months later in The Washington Post details
Ouchi was standing at a tank, holding a funnel
while a co-worker named Masato Shinohara poured a mixture of intermediate-enriched uranium oxide into it from a bucket.
Suddenly, they were startled by a flash of blue light
the first sign that something terrible was about to happen.
The workers, who had no previous experience in handling uranium with that level of enrichment
inadvertently had put too much of it in the tank
as this 2000 article in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists details.
As a result, they inadvertently triggered what's known in the nuclear industry as a criticality accident
a release of radiation from an uncontrolled nuclear chain reaction.