[ RadSafe ] Radioactive Waste Rooms

Bourquin, Marty Marty.Bourquin at grace.com
Mon Sep 22 15:09:55 CDT 2008

My first question would be when was the analysis of the filters
conducted?  Was it done immediately after operations (use of the fume
hood, compacting of waste etc) were conducted or was it done after the
radioisotopes had time to decay off?
I would also look at the risk/reward levels.  Since you are in very
highly populated and expensive area - how would the cost of a single
lawsuit (regardless of whether or not it was justified) balance against
the cost to install the system?  I'm not advocating one way or the other
just tossing out some talking points.

I would do the sampling first then use the data to guide my decision.  I
would also think that your regulators would want to see ongoing sampling
data to show you are meeting their limits if you are not using any
filtration equipment.( or even if you are).

Martin W. Bourquin 
Manager - EHS 
Radiation Safety Officer
W.R. Grace & Co 
Chattanooga, TN  37406 


-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl [mailto:radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl] On
Behalf Of Anthony Santoro
Sent: Monday, September 22, 2008 3:24 PM
To: radsafe at radlab.nl
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Radioactive Waste Rooms




I was hoping I could get some feedback on how radioactive waste rooms
are designed at other institutions.  Specifically, I am inquiring about
ventilation and filtration.  We will be building a new radioactive waste
room in the near future and are debating whether it is necessary to
carbon filter exhaust from the radioactive waste room.  We work with
biomedical research isotopes, such as 3H, 32P, 33P, 35S, and 125I,
usually less than 1mCi.  In our old waste room the compactor, fume-hood
and all other exhausts ran through a bank of nuclear grade carbon
filters.  This set-up is very pricey and based on the analysis of the
wasted filters, there is no measurable radioactivity captured.  The
thinking is that since the amounts released are so insignificant, that
venting directly to the outside without
filtration, will accomplish the same results through dilution.   The NYS
has regulations in place on permissible effluent concentrations and I
believe that we are well within the limits but would have to perform
sampling to model and prove my assumption.    Any comments would be


Thank you,


Anthony Santoro

Radiation Safety Officer

Laboratory Safety & Environmental Health

The Rockefeller University 

1230 York Avenue

New York, NY 10065

Ph: 212.327.8226



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