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DOE Standard Guide of Good Practices for Occupational Radiological Protection In Plutonium Facilities
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In Vivo Counting - doe-std-1128-98_ch10123


DOE-STD-1128-98
5.3.2 Monitoring Requirements and Selection of Employees
Workers who are considered likely to have intakes resulting in excess of 100-mrem
CEDE are required to participate in a bioassay program. However, because of the
extensive radiological control practices for plutonium facilities, including a high
degree of engineered barrier containment, no typical plutonium worker is likely to
have intakes of 100-mrem CEDE or more. However, this should not be used as an
excuse to exclude workers from routine bioassay. Although no one should be
considered likely to have intakes resulting in 100-mrem CEDE, some workers are at
significantly higher risk for incurring an intake than others and should be on routine
bioassay.
The workers at highest risk of incurring an intake are the ones in closest contact with
the material. Typically, these are the operators, maintenance, and health physics
personnel handling plutonium or plutonium-contaminated objects in the course of
routine glove-box, maintenance, or decommissioning operations. In the event of
containment system failure, or failure respiratory protection devices, it is these
workers who will most likely incur exposure and subsequent intake. These workers
should be on a routine bioassay program designed to meet the requirements of 10
CFR 835 (DOE, 1998a) as a kind of safety net to identify intakes which might have
gone undetected by workplace monitoring.
Other workers (e.g., supervisors, inspectors, observers, guards, and tour groups) who
work in or visit a plutonium facility but are not directly working with the material or
contaminated objects are at a substantially lower risk for incurring an intake.
Although these people may not need to be on a routine bioassay program, they should
be subject to participation in a special bioassay program if workplace indications
suggest loss of control or containment.
5.3.3
Selection of Bioassay Monitoring Techniques
Bioassay monitoring techniques fall into two broad categories, direct measurement of
radioactive materials in the body (in vivo counting) and analysis of material removed
from the body for laboratory in vitro analysis. In vivo counting includes
measurements of the chest, lung, skeleton, liver, and wounds. In vitro measurements
include urinalysis, fecal analysis, and occasionally analysis of tissue, sputum, or
blood samples. Methods for in vitro analysis include liquid scintillation counting,
fluorescence measurements, gamma spectrometry, chemical separation followed by
electrode position, and counting with radiation detectors. Selby et al. (1994) provide
a brief overview of bioassay techniques and capabilities. Further discussion of the
techniques is provided below.
5-12


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