[ RadSafe ] Radon Daughters on People [was

Richard D. Urban Jr. radmax at earthlink.net
Tue Apr 13 08:05:43 CDT 2010

Rick, I recall a firewatcher at Susquehanna a decade or so back, that we could always tell when she had been doing her laundry.  Her washer was in her basement, and she would light up ALL the detectors on both the PCM and the Gamma Portal Monitor just walking in at the start of her shift.   Her levels always dropped by the end of her second tour.
No idea what the levels were in her home, but we all suggested strongly that she get it tested, as she was also a smoker.

As far as ID'ing in the field, your RIID's should be able to add Radon/daughters to their libraries, short of that, if setting up an Alpha to Beta/Gamma ratio isn't feasible, then the 4 hours sealed in a bag trick is the about the only other thing I have seen in my 22 years and 25+ sites. Diablo Canyon experimented with a static discharge device to repell radon several years back, that workers walked on/thru. It seemed to work to some extent (when it worked).

Rick Urban
Lowly RP Technician
Yuma, AZ

Oh BTW Franz...micro, pico, nano nano nanoh

Sent from my Droid

-----Original Message-----
>From: "Hansen, Richard" <HansenRG at nv.doe.gov>
>Sent: Apr 12, 2010 12:26 PMD
>To: radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu
>Subject: [ RadSafe ] Radon Daughters on People [was "Salsman warning"]
>The incident you mention of the nuclear power plant worker coming to
>work contaminated with radon daughter products is briefly described on
>the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection web site:
>The Saga of the Bureau of Radiation Protection
>...Another seminal event for the Bureau occurred on December 19, 1984.
>Notification was received from the chief raddie at Limerick that a
>worker was coming to work contaminated. The contamination was detected
>by a portal monitor. The contamination was natural. The utility had the
>worker's home checked, and found extremely high concentrations of radon
>there. The Limerick chief raddie reasoned correctly that the problem was
>not a utility problem, but rather a state problem. The radon story began
>with that phone call.
>In the early months of the radon project, attention was confined to the
>Boyertown area. A field office was established in Gilbertsville. By the
>end of 1985, the project included the entire Reading Prong and adjacent
>areas. By late 1986, the program began to go statewide.
>I have a question for radsafe:
>What are some methods to use in the field to determine if low levels of
>radiation detected on a person or clothing is due to radon daughters
>rather than radioactive contamination from other sources?
>Two situations come to mind. First, during a law enforcement
>investigation of possible illegal use of radioactive material, the
>persons involved (including the officers) may be checked for radioactive
>contamination using handheld survey meters. 
>A second situation would be emergency response personnel checking fellow
>responders and members of the public for contamination at the scene of a
>potential incident involving radioactive material.
>Depending on the organization, the personnel may have access to survey
>meters with GM pancake detector probes and NaI gamma detector probes
>(such as 1-in. diameter by 1-inch long NaI detectors). Hand-held
>NaI-based radionuclide identification instruments (or RIIDs) may be
>available. Some organizations also have alpha-beta scintillator
>contamination probes, but most probably will not. 
>Examples of this type of situation include training exercises where
>radiation levels exceeded twice background levels on some of the Tyvek
>suits worn by responders (especially during winter with low humidity).
>Another possible example is workers initially thought to be contaminated
>from a leaking sealed radioactive source because radiation (actually
>from radon daughters) was detected coming from workers' hands, clothes,
>and chairs.
>Rick Hansen
>Senior Scientist
>Counter Terrorism Operations Support Program
>National Security Technologies, LLC, for the U.S. Dept of Energy
>hansenrg at nv.doe.gov
>Date: Sat, 10 Apr 2010 14:36:43 -0700 (PDT)
>From: ROY HERREN <royherren2005 at yahoo.com>
>Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Salsman warning
>To: Doug Huffman <doug.huffman at wildblue.net>,
>	radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu
><snip> James concern brings to mind a rather infamous incident from the
>1970's at a Nuclear facility in Pennsylvania. If I remember the near
>Urban myth like details of the story correctly, it seems that at the end
>of a work shift a worker was found to be contaminated. After much
>unsuccessful research over several day as to the work related cause of
>the contamination,a survey was taken of the workerupon immediate arrival
>at the work site from his home at the beginning of his shift before he
>started work. The worker was found to be contaminated from a source
>other than work... What was that source of contamination? Was it coal
>fly ash? No, it was from naturally occurring Radon gas daughter
>products. It seems that the worker had weather proofed his home so well
>that naturally occurring Radon gas that was released from the soil under
>his house had built up in the house to a much greater extent that would
>otherwise naturally occur.
>Roy Herren 
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