Neptunium, Radioactive

Other Preventive Measures

In any facility that handles radioactive materials, the major controls protecting workers, the public, and the environment are structures and installed equipment, which shield, contain, and confine the radioactive materials. However, to allow useful work to be performed in the facility and to assure that its protective features remain effective, a number of administrative controls are ordinarily required. These administrative controls are usually contained in a series of procedures related to the operations and maintenance activities to be carried out in the facility. All personnel who work in controlled areas should be familiar with the administrative controls that apply to their work. When changes or additions to administrative controls are made, these changes or additions should be effectively communicated to all persons who may be affected. /Plutonium facilities/
Radiation Protection Procedures: A .... facility should have a written policy on radiation protection, including a policy on keeping exposures ALARA. All radiation protection procedures and controls should have formal, recognizable technical bases for limits, methods, and personnel protection standards. Procedures should be adequately documented, updated periodically, and maintained in a centralized historical file. A control system should be established to account for all copies and ensure that all new procedures are included in the historical files. A designated period of time for maintaining historical files should be established. ... In addition, radiation protection procedures should have a documented approval system and established intervals for review and/or revision. A tracking system should be developed to ensure that the required reviews and revisions occur. /Plutonium facilities/
A thorough radiation protection training program should be established ... . Separate training programs should be established for general employees, radiation workers, and radiation control technicians. The training of all staff members should be carefully documented. /Plutonium facilities/
Source reduction: The source of the radiation can be reduced by decontamination, better storage methods, or elimination of the source altogether. Extremity dose can be reduced by periodically sweeping/wiping the... dust from the inside of the gloveboxes and gloves. /Plutonium facilities/
Gloveboxes are almost always used when handling /transuranic alpha emitters/ ... in a dispersible form. However, properly vented hoods are acceptable for handling the very small quantities used in a research laboratory. Proper hood design is critical ... and only very small quantities should be used. Gloveboxes, tanks, and piping are examples of "primary containments," because there are no system openings. Gloveboxes have ports with long plastic sleeves attached that allow material to be "sealed in" or "sealed out" from the glovebox without breaching the containment. Types of equipment such as fume hoods are "primary confinements," since they are the barrier closest to the source. Primary barriers require good ventilation to maintain contamination control. Do not insert your hands into a primary barrier unless you have been trained and authorized to do so. /Plutonium facilities/
Administrative controls: There are many administrative controls to reduce doses. The following are just a few that should apply to all sites: Posting. Training. Housekeeping. Maintaining Access Control. Using Radiation Work Permits. Stopping work. /Plutonium facilities/
Contamination surveys should be performed to determine surface contamination area (SCA) boundaries, the appropriate posting of sources or areas, and the location and extent of localized contamination. Contamination surveys should be performed and documented prior to the start of radiological work, during general work activities at times when changes in contamination level may occur, and following work to assure that final radiological conditions are acceptable and documented. A sufficient number of points should be surveyed to adequately assess the radiological status of the area being surveyed. /Plutonium facilities/
Personnel contamination monitors: Personnel survey instruments are usually placed at the exits from radiologically controlled areas. Personnel frisking shall be performed after removal of protective clothing and prior to washing and showering. The use of a personnel contamination monitor (such as a portal monitor or hand and foot counter), if available, is encouraged... . Personal items such as notebooks, papers, flashlights, shall be subjected to the same frisking. /Plutonium facilities/
Facilities are required to sample the air in areas where an individual is likely to receive an exposure of 40 or more DAC-hours in a year. Real-time air monitoring /must/ be performed to detect and provide warning of airborne radioactivity concentrations that warrant immediate action to terminate inhalation of airborne radioactive material. Fixed air samplers are used in these areas (they may also be in areas with CAMs). They are sensitive to low levels of airborne radioactivity (they are capable of determining a fraction of a DAC), but do not have alarm capabilities to alert workers to airborne radioactivity. /Plutonium facilities/
Responsibilities should be assigned for action in response to an accidental internal ... contamination. The affected worker has the responsibility to inform the health physicist, Radiation Control Technician, or his immediate supervisor as soon as an intake is suspected. ... The health physicist or RCT should make an initial survey of the extent of the contamination and immediately contact his supervisor and, when action levels are exceeded, contact a member of the medical staff. /S/He should continue to provide monitoring and radiation safety support to the medical staff and supervisors during the management of the contamination incident. Care should be taken to limit the spread of radioactive contamination. The health physicist should immediately begin to gather data on the time and extent of the incident. Contamination survey results should be recorded. Radionuclide identity, chemical form, and solubility classification should be determined. Nasal smears should be obtained immediately if an intake by inhalation is suspected. When action levels are exceeded, all urine and feces should be collected and labeled for analysis. Decontamination should proceed with the assistance of the medical staff. Contaminated clothing and other objects should be saved for later analysis. /Plutonium facilities/
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