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Responsibilities of Health Physics Staff - doe-std-1128-98_ch10208
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DOE Standard Guide of Good Practices for Occupational Radiological Protection In Plutonium Facilities
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Department of Energy Plutonium Vulnerability Analysis Study - doe-std-1128-98_ch10210


DOE-STD-1128-98
7.5.2
Emergency Response Actions
The priorities of line management (which could include involving the health
physics staff) during a criticality event should be to rescue personnel, prevent
further incidents or exposures, and quickly determine those who have been
seriously exposed (Moe, 1988). To support these emergency response actions, the
health physics staff should be trained in facility emergency procedures. These
emergency procedures include evacuation routes, personnel assembly areas,
personnel accountability, care and treatment of injured and exposed persons, a
means for immediate identification of exposed individuals, instrumentation for
determining the radiation levels at the assembly area, and the re-entry and
formation of response teams.
Emergency response procedures for conducting the initial quick sort of workers
should specify measurement techniques and require that surveyors record methods
and instrument settings used for quick-sort operations to ensure proper
interpretation of the results. Field results should be compared to pre-established
activity-dose relationships developed as part of emergency response procedures to
determine if a worker was exposed. Other indicators such as a discharged self-
reading dosimeter could also be an indication of a possible exposure.
As an immediate follow-up action for workers identified as being exposed during a
quicksort procedure, a more accurate dose estimate should be made using PNADs,
fixed-location accident dosimeters, or biological activity analyses (24Na in the
blood or 32P in the hair). Part of these more accurate analyses should include: 1)
better definition of source characteristics, 2) location of moderating materials, and
3) location and orientation of the person(s) at the time of exposure and action of the
person following the irradiation. The health physics staff can provide valuable
information to support this analysis, particularly regarding the location and
orientation of workers to the excursion if they are involved in the rescue and initial
monitoring procedures.
Health physics staff will be responsible for retrieving fixed nuclear accident
dosimeters and ensuring that PNADs from any exposed workers are submitted for
analysis.
7.5.3
Special Considerations During Decommissioning Activities
Before decommissioning or disposal of any facilities or equipment, an evaluation
should be performed to assess the potential holdup of fissionable material in any
equipment. These types of measurements may require the assistance of health
physics staff.
Some strippable coatings and surface fixing films are good neutron moderators.
Nuclear criticality safety specialists should be consulted when using these coatings
to decontaminate surfaces because criticality could be a concern, depending on the
geometry of the removed coating when in the disposal unit.
7-17


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