[ RadSafe ] High Radiation fine for Coal Plant Owner; Cs-137 gauge

Jim Hardeman Jim.Hardeman at dnr.state.ga.us
Wed Sep 1 11:42:36 CDT 2010

Emilio --
Thanks for posting this article ... I ran across it earlier today in my morning reading as well.
One aspect of this story concerns me somewhat, and that is the statement that "Laramie River Station has 216 monitors that use radiation ..."
I'm going to presume, unless somebody has more detailed information, that these are generally-licensed (GL) process control gauges, which can contain quantities anywhere from several 10's to several 100's of millicuries -- at least for Cs-137. I obviously don't know if all 216 gauges in this facility are Cs-137 gauges, as GL gauges using other radionuclides, such as Sr-90 and Am-241 are common in industrial facilities. FYI -- we've had experience in dealing with these gauges after industrial accidents (i.e. fires and explosions) and they are extremely rugged devices.
Here's the concern -- in federal and state radioactive materials regulations there are "prohibitions" against aggregating multiple exempt sources -- are there similar provisions discouraging or prohibiting the aggregation of multiple GL devices?? It seems to me that the potential exists -- although perhaps unlikely -- that the aggregation of GL devices, particularly when you're dealing with hundreds, could result in an aggregate activity exceeding an IAEA Category 2 quantity -- a quantity to which NRC and state regulatory authorities attach a definite level of concern.
Colleagues, am I way off base here -- or is the concern over the aggregate activity mitigated by the fact that it's split over some many devices -- making it almost impossible to get it all in one place at one time?
Jim Hardeman
jim.hardeman at dnr.state.ga.us 

>>> Emilio Martinez <emiliommartinez at yahoo.com.ar> 8/31/2010 19:55 >>>
I thought you might find this article interesting---

August 30, 2010 New  York TIMES 

And You Thought Radiation Was a Problem for Nuclear Plants?By MATTHEW  L. WALD


Math Student

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