[ RadSafe ] Airborne radioactivity

Earley, Jack N Jack_N_Earley at RL.gov
Tue Apr 10 14:00:06 CDT 2007

Thanks for the clarification, Hal. Another scenario would be arc welding under water in a radioactive basin/fuel pool. ANL had some uptakes a few years back from this activity that was unanticipated from initial air samples.
Jack Earley
Health Physicist

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl [mailto:radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl] On Behalf Of Harold Careway
Sent: Tuesday, April 10, 2007 10:04 AM
To: radsafe at radlab.nl
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Airborne radioactivity

I'm guessing I may know what is going on here but can't really help.  Given a line carrying a radioactive gas, if that line breaks under water the gases can be released to the water and depending upon flow rate, gas content, temperature of the gas and water, and water depth; the resultant bubbles can be scrubbed in the water resulting in various levels of contamination in the air above the water as well as in the water. Up to the point of entrainment in the water, the process is strictly physical and non-chemical.  Once the material is in the water, chemical variations compound the analysis. The solution is non-trivial (you need elliptic integrals) and though the NRC has done significant work in this area, the only really accurate and valid work
I've ever seen was done by GE Nuclear and is strictly proprietary.   

To find what is available you can start with NUREG/CR-5901, "A Simplified Model of Aerosol Scrubbing by a Water Pool Overlying Core Debris Interacting With Concrete", then go onto Google and look for "pool scrubbing" and "DECON".

Frankly, trying to do a realistic calculation or model is extremely really, really hard to do.  I know of no rules and thumb and would be interested if anyone else does.

Hal Careway
San Jose, CA
GE Retired.

-----Original Message-----
>From Franz Schönhofer
Sent: Monday, April 09, 2007 4:38 PM

Dear Health Physicist,

This is the first of two messages today, which request from RADSAFErs some information without giving even the slightest details. As a Health Physicist you should know, that there are thousands of different radionuclides, which behave differently, coming in different chemical forms, have different solubility etc. etc. Do you want to know the radon level to be expected...... bla, bla, bla. 

Not being a native speaker I regard "air line" being rather in the context of "DELTA", "Austrian Airlines", "Lufthansa", "Iberia" etc. 

I hope you can explain, what you really want.


Franz Schoenhofer, PhD
MinRat i.R.
Habicherg. 31/7
A-1160 Wien/Vienna

>From Earley, Jack N

Does anyone have any calculations or guidelines for determining the resulting airborne radioactivity levels from an air line breaking under water, relative to the air flow rate (or from performing an air sparge in radioactive water)? 
Jack Earley
Health Physicist

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