[ RadSafe ] > 300 mrems/month = "no significant exposure"?

Stroud - CDPHE, Ed ed.stroud at state.co.us
Mon Sep 9 12:46:46 CDT 2013

Bill and all,
Do workers at U.S. nuclear power plants really have a 1 rem per year
regulatory limit, or is that an in-house ALARA limit?

Ed Stroud, Compliance Lead
Radioactive Materials Unit
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

On Mon, Sep 9, 2013 at 10:49 AM, William Lipton <doctorbill34 at gmail.com>wrote:

> I'm concerned about this NRC event report from a radiography provider:
> The RSO for the licensee called to report a potential overexposure of a
> radiographer. This event occurred while the radiographer was checking welds
> at a refinery in Wyoming. While moving the camera to another location, the
> radiographer's dosimeter alarmed. It is suspected that the camera's source
> was not fully retracted into the safe position. The source was subsequently
> retracted back into the fully shielded position.
> The RSO calculates an estimated dose to the radiographer of 5 rem. The
> licensee will send the radiographer's dosimetry for expedited reading as
> soon as possible.
> The licensee will update this report with additional details as they become
> available.
> The RSO has received the radiographer's dosimetry badge readings. The
> radiographer was still wearing his August dosimetry when the event
> occurred. His badge readings was 328 mrem for the entire month of August
> including the exposure from this event.
> Since there was no significant exposure from the event, the licensee has
> retracted this event notification. *
> *
> *
> While I'm glad that there was no overexposure, there are 2 important issues
> that need to be addressed:
> 1.  Why did the source fail to retract:  mechanical failure?, less than
> adequate training?  under time pressure? ...  This has to be determined and
> fixed.
> 2.  328 mrems in one month is considered routine and acceptable.  This
> means that it's acceptable for the company's radiographers  to receive 3 -
> 5 rems/year.  This is NOT "As Low As Reasonably Achievable."  Again, the
> NRC has a double standard.  Power reactors have a de facto limit of 1
> rem/year for a rad worker.  My experience is that this is rarely
> approached, and this is under much more difficult circumstances than found
> in most radiography jobs.
> *B*ill Lipton
> It's not about dose, it's about trust.
> _______________________________________________
> You are currently subscribed to the RadSafe mailing list
> Before posting a message to RadSafe be sure to have read and understood
> the RadSafe rules. These can be found at:
> http://health.phys.iit.edu/radsaferules.html
> For information on how to subscribe or unsubscribe and other settings
> visit: http://health.phys.iit.edu

More information about the RadSafe mailing list