STP698: The Role of Field Measurements in Environmental Radiation Monitoring

    Lowder, WM
    Physicist and director, Environmental Measurements Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, New York, N.Y.

    McLaughlin, JE
    Physicist and director, Environmental Measurements Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, New York, N.Y.

    Pages: 7    Published: Jan 1980


    The operational assessment of releases of radioactivity from nuclear facilities is performed with instruments located in or near the effluent streams or is accomplished by measuring samples collected from these streams. Direct field monitoring is relegated to a lesser role in dose assessment. The reasons for this practice include recognition that effluent measurements are more easily and rapidly performed than environmental measurements. At the same time, by regulation, detailed environmental measurements of mixed character are required around nuclear power plants. This arrangement of priorities tends to produce an unclear understanding of the objectives of field measurements and to reduce theirimportance and hence the quality of the data.

    While an optimum radiation monitoring program is site-dependent, the elements of direct field measurements should include the routine deployment of thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLD's) and a few continuous “real time” monitors. Several monitors have been developed in the Environmental Measurements Laboratory and elsewhere and are undergoing field testing. The availability of field monitors provides a desirable capability for the rapid evaluation of special problems in or near the plant that arise from time to time. Moreover, such sensitive measurement methods in conjunction with meteorological data and direct effluent measurements can be employed to verify the models used for setting release limits, to calculate doses to the population around the site, and to maintain a check on effluent measurements. Improved monitoring efforts should instill greater public confidence in the facility's normal operations by detailing actual exposure data in a timely fashion.


    environments, radiation, monitoring, thermoluminescent dosimetry, reactor

    Paper ID: STP35105S

    Committee/Subcommittee: D19.04

    DOI: 10.1520/STP35105S

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