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Three employees at the Westinghouse nuclear fuel facility southeast of Columbia were sent to the hospital this week following maintenance work on hydrofluoric acid process equipment.

The employees had reported "an unusual taste in their mouths," according to an Oct. 16 U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission report.

The three workers spent the night at the hospital, according to the report, but only one was medically treated. That triggered a S.C. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, notification.

Public and environmental health were not jeopardized in the incident, the report states. No radioactive material was involved.

Operations at the Westinghouse Columbia Fuel Fabrication Facility, where fuel for nuclear reactors is manufactured, have been scrutinized before. Environmental concerns have also been raised by the surrounding community.

In July, a waste drum at the Westinghouse plant caught fire and exploded.

"The drum contents were smoldering, smoke was observed and the smoke detector activated. Dry paper in the drum created a small fire, which was promptly extinguished without use of a water hose or a fire extinguisher," reads a related federal filing.

No one was injured in the workplace accident. The drum, though, did contain more than 70 grams of uranium.

The state health department and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission oversee the fuel facility, which is off Bluff Road.

Colin Demarest covers the Savannah River Site, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Nuclear Security Administration and government in general. Follow him on Twitter: @demarest_colin