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Summary of Past Criticality Accidents - doe-std-1128-98_ch10201
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DOE Standard Guide of Good Practices for Occupational Radiological Protection In Plutonium Facilities
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Criticality Alarm System - doe-std-1128-98_ch10203


DOE-STD-1128-98
time period with about 20% in the first half-hour. The excursion
concluded after the boiling off of about 6 L of water and the settling of
some organic matter after it had extracted plutonium from the aqueous
phase. Three workers in the vicinity of the tank during the initial spike
received doses greater than regulatory limits. One worker about 5 to 6 ft
from the tank received 110 rem, another approximately 9 ft away
received about 43 rem, and the final worker about 26 ft away received
about 19 rem.
7.4
CRITICALITY ALARMS AND NUCLEAR ACCIDENT DOSIMETRY
Requirements for criticality alarm systems and nuclear accident dosimetry are presented in
this section. Criticality alarm systems provide rapid warning to individuals in the
immediate accident location and nearby locations to evacuate to a predesignated assembly
location. Specific requirements for the criticality alarm system are found in DOE Order
420.1A (DOE, 2002a) and ANSI/ANS-8.3 (ANSI, 1986a). Key requirements that may be
of interest for the health physics staff are summarized in Section 7.4.1. Paxton (1966) noted
that lives have been saved in past criticality accidents by radiation alarms coupled with
effective evacuation procedures. Nuclear accident dosimetry, discussed in Section 7.4.2,
provides the means of determining the dose to workers in the vicinity of the excursion.
7.4.1
Criticality Alarm System
In accordance with DOE Order 420.1A, the nuclear criticality safety program shall
be evaluated and documented and shall include:
Assessment of the need for criticality accident detection devices and alarm systems,
and installation of such equipment where total risk to personnel will be reduced.
The basic elements and control parameters of programs for nuclear criticality safety
shall satisfy the requirements of the following American Nuclear Society's
ANSI/ANS nuclear criticality safety standards:
ANSI/ANS-8.3-1986, "Criticality Accident Alarm System," however paragraphs
4.1.2, 4.2.1 and 4.2.2 shall be followed as modified in section 4.3.3.c and e of DOE
Order 420.1A.
7-10


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