Oh, I'd be the last to defend the assumptions about 'acceptable' losses built into occupational exposure levels(or the massive regulatory capture that has prevented many standards from being updated, a surprising number of OSHA's are 1968 ACGIH "threshold limit values" for various chemicals that they've very rarely managed to update since, even when new toxicology is available. As for keeping pace with new compounds... hardly.)
My point was purely that surviving acute exposures hundreds or thousands of times the legal limit for occupational exposure isn't terribly exceptional. Not good practice; but very possible for the broad range of chemicals that are not at all good for humans; but which aren't swift poisons.
As for nuclear physicists, I suspect that they have better health plans than miners, and people prefer not to waste them (given that even a person of natural mathematical talent takes years to train into a replacement, and such people are not necessarily in ample supply); but occupational exposures do get them from time to time. Beryllium seems to crop up in a number of cases: it's a fantastic material, light, strong, a good beam window; but exposure to its dust can cause Berylliosis; and once that happens, we have only symptomatic treatments to make the progressive, irreversible, and eventually fatal, loss of lung capacity slightly less ghastly.