[ RadSafe ] Hot Particles and Dan

Dan W McCarn hotgreenchile at gmail.com
Wed May 19 14:20:07 CDT 2010

Dear Group:

1.  My only experience with a hot particle was shortly following the
Chernobyl accident in June, '86. My horse and I rode several hundred
kilometers through northern Austria with a scintillation counter mapping the
contact between wet- and dry-deposition, and I found one discrete spot where
rainwater had washed sediment from a road into a small grassy area. After
sampling the spot, I discovered that I had collected virtually all of the
radiation in a 1 L container.  After several subdivisions, I was able to
isolate a very small subsample responsible for the radiation in less than
1/2 gram of material. The particle exceeded 5 mR/Hr at 1 meter distance, the
maximum the counter could read.  I submitted the sample to Seibersdorf along
with a sample of the soil.  As I recall, they were a little distressed at
the result.

2.  re: my girlfriend: Apparently very little rubbed off. and she passed
through the scanners yesterday and today with no problems.  So please be
advised that even with repeated scans and contact, there was no evidence of
cross-contamination. I am now down to about 200 (29) uR/Hr at 1 meter
distance after about 50 hours, quite a bit better than the 5000 (710) uR/Hr
at 4 meters after 4 hours. I appreciate all of the very interesting advice,
especially Carol S. Marcus who had the most reassuring comment, but I
understand this is exactly her bailiwick! And Jack, you are correct, her
opinion is the only one that counts!

Note: Dose rate as measured (dose rate corrected) based on Rick Hansen's
suggestion.  Carol had mentioned the energy dependence (and I was aware of
it) but did not expect it to be so large.

Def. Bailiwick ==> Area of expertise

And, I could not help myself but include another poem, though this time not
from Robert Service! It reminds me of my older daughter...

Rebecca - Who Slammed Doors For Fun And Perished Miserably - Hilaire Belloc

A trick that everyone abhors 
In little girls is slamming doors. 
A wealthy banker's little daughter 
Who lived in Palace Green, Bayswater 
(By name Rebecca Offendort), 
Was given to this furious sport. 

She would deliberately go 
And slam the door like billy-o! 
To make her uncle Jacob start. 
She was not really bad at heart, 
But only rather rude and wild; 
She was an aggravating child... 

It happened that a marble bust 
Of Abraham was standing just 
Above the door this little lamb 
Had carefully prepared to slam, 
And down it came! It knocked her flat! 
It laid her out! She looked like that. 

Her funeral sermon (which was long 
And followed by a sacred song) 
Mentioned her virtues, it is true, 
But dwelt upon her vices too, 
And showed the deadful end of one 
Who goes and slams the door for fun. 

The children who were brought to hear 
The awful tale from far and near 
Were much impressed, and inly swore 
They never more would slam the door, 
-- As often they had done before. 

Dan ii

Dan W McCarn, Geologist
108 Sherwood Drive
Los Alamos, NM 87544-3425
+1-505-310-3922 (Mobile - New Mexico)
HotGreenChile at gmail.com (Private email) HotGreenChile at gmail dot com
-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu
[mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Earley, Jack N
Sent: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 11:50
To: 'radsafe at agni.phys.iit.edu'
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Hot Particles and Dan

1.  One Hanford contractor's radiological control manual defines hot
particles as small, generally insoluble particles with an activity in excess
of 10 microcuries, and establishes an open window, uncorrected indication of
more than 100 mrem/hr as an acceptable screening criterion. It also states
that a technical basis should be developed if an alternate screening
criterion for hot particle activity is used.

2.  Re. Dan's girlfriend: The only opinion that counts is hers.

Jack Earley
Sr. Health Physicist

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