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S. Korean firm under probe for neglecting radiation safety

All News 14:32 June 13, 2016

SEOUL, June 13 (Yonhap) -- A South Korean presidential panel said Monday it has requested the country's law enforcement authorities to punish a local radiographic inspection firm for violating a law on nuclear safety.

An employee at the firm's subcontractor was exposed to radiation in December while conducting a nondestructive radiation test alone at a chemical factory construction site in Anseong, Gyeonggi Province, according to the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission (NSSC).

The man in his 20s, identified only by his surname Yang, began work at the subcontractor just a month prior.

Carrying no radiation measuring instrument at the time of the incident, his hands were exposed to radiation.

The firm did not inform the NSSC of the case, attempting to cover it up, said the panel. The nation's law on atomic power safety calls for an immediate report of any trouble associated with radiation to the commission.

The incident was disclosed belatedly after a tip-off to the Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety (KINS) under the commission.

The company was also found to have breached the rule requiring at least two workers to work together in a team for such radiation test work.

The NSSC held a meeting on the matter on May 26 and decided to bring it to prosecutors. The head of the company and three other senior officials will face a formal investigation.

Many South Koreans are already upset by the death of a 19-year-old worker in a May accident attributable to poor safety measures by a subcontractor with Seoul Metro, a subway operator here.

He was killed while working by himself to repair a screen door at a Seoul subway station.

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