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Offline Hasher

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Drinking Water in radiological areas
« on: Nov 01, 2007, 10:20 »
I have been asked to benchmark a good program against our practices here at OPG.  I have had little success to date identifying a high-flyer organization to approach.  This topic doesn't exactly grab headlines.

Are any of you involved or recall a program that has stood out in your mind as having some solid fundamentals and common sense built in?

I was at Farley a decade ago and thought their program was allright, but it has been awhile since I have swung a meter in the good ol' US of A....

Any comments are welcomed.

« Last Edit: Nov 01, 2007, 11:04 by Hasher »
Cheers,

Hasher

Offline RDTroja

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Re: Drinking Water in radiological areas
« Reply #1 on: Nov 01, 2007, 11:07 »
I absolutely HATE drinking water in the RCA and I don't think it is a good practice no matter how it is done. Just a bit too old-school I guess.

I have never seen a fool-proof system or even one I was comfortable with. I have reluctantly participated in several 'systems' and I have not seen any measurable uptakes that could be linked to drinking water, but I think that is due more to very low contamination levels more than good controls. Every system is a compromise where radiological safety is impinged upon for the sake of productivity. We teach workers one thing and then prove to them that we really didn't mean it.

I am getting off the soapbox before I start to rant.
« Last Edit: Nov 09, 2007, 01:28 by RDTroja »
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wlrun3@aol.com

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Re: Drinking Water in radiological areas
« Reply #2 on: Nov 01, 2007, 11:21 »

   Millstone has an effective program in place. Brandon_L_Graber@dom.com, health physicist, is extremely helpful.


 

Offline Roll Tide

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Re: Drinking Water in radiological areas
« Reply #3 on: Nov 01, 2007, 12:20 »
Down at Browns Ferry, there is a common sense approach at the Drywell (or was a couple of years back). The control point has a cooler of bottled water. If someone needs a drink, they are given one by the rover (with appropriate monitoring).
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Offline Marlin

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Re: Drinking Water in radiological areas
« Reply #4 on: Nov 01, 2007, 12:36 »
I absolutely HATE drinking water in the RCA and I don't think it is a good practice no matter how it is done. Just a bit too old-school I guess.

I have never seen a fool-proof system or even one I was comfortable with. I have reluctantly participated in several 'systems' and I have not seen any measurable uptakes that could be linked to drinking water) but I think that is due more to very low contamination levels more than good controls. Every system is a compromise where radilogical safety is impinged upon for the sake of productivity. We teach workers one thing and then prove to them that we really didn't mean it.

I am getting off the soapbox before I start to rant.

In the seventies even the Navy had foot operated drinking fountains in contaminated areas (shipyard). Looking at risk and reasonable application of contamination controls is difficult as risk and reasonable application depend to a large extent on to your point of view (i.e. production or protection). If you are an old timer you have probably experienced someone falling out from heat exhuastion while in double PC's or plastics. I think this is a little like the use of respirators ( or non use) where there was an adjustment from no ingestion to adding it to the whole body dose as part of over all risk and reasonable application of radiological control, as wearing a respirator carries risk in itself.

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alphadude

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Re: Drinking Water in radiological areas
« Reply #5 on: Nov 01, 2007, 02:59 »
There are checks and balances in place (bio assay) to mitigate such issues.  its the ole saying "By god he may have died from heat stroke but at least he is not contaminated."  duh he's dead....who cares about the contamination at this point..

Find a way to get water into the worker!

bio assays are part of the feed back loop- learn and fix, measure the uptake- find out why- ALARA  you cant fix it unless u measure it..
« Last Edit: Nov 04, 2007, 06:55 by alphadude »

Offline RDTroja

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Re: Drinking Water in radiological areas
« Reply #6 on: Nov 01, 2007, 03:42 »
There are checks and balances in place (bio assay) to mitigate such issues.  its the ole saying "By god he may have died from heat stroke but at least he is not contaminated."  duh he's dead....who cares about the contamination at this point..

Find a way to get water into the worker!

Bio-assays do not mitigate uptakes, they measure them. I agree that if the choice is between heat-related illness or risk of uptake, by all means give the water. But having water in containment is often a way to keep the workers in there longer than they would be otherwise... added risk for the sake of the schedule.

Certainly there are ways to reduce the risk, but I have been put in a situation many times where the controls were less than I considered adequate, but I had no choice but to allow the situation to exist (or quit.) One of the battles I chose not to fight after expressing my opinion.

Find a way to get the worker out of the area for his refreshment!
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rjc4243

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Re: Drinking Water in radiological areas
« Reply #7 on: Nov 01, 2007, 04:35 »
The use of proximity switches to turn on a drinking fountain with a pump from bottled water through the cooler, works very well.  The workers only need to be near the fountain, and no one has to touch it to obtain a drink of cool water.  My thoughts only.

Offline Hasher

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Re: Drinking Water in radiological areas
« Reply #8 on: Nov 02, 2007, 09:02 »
Thank you wlrun3.  I have e-mailed the folks at Millstone.  I was on the phone with WANO this morning and the question was not able to be immediately answered there either.

I have used the "cool tents" etc before and I don't like the practice of managing refridgerators or coolers in C-zones, but I firmly believe we have to hydrate people or we will have to carry out someone and it is a lot harder monitoring an unconscious person than a cooler.

Having said that, we have drinking fountains throughout the plant.  We even have a coffee shop inside our "RCA".

I am looking for a facility that has year round drinking water more so than a short term area to mitigate heat stress. (I will take whatever I can get though)

Thanks again for the information and  as always the lively discussion.  Makes me want buy a pint for each and every one you.
Cheers,

Hasher

illegalsmile

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Re: Drinking Water in radiological areas
« Reply #9 on: Nov 02, 2007, 09:43 »
I'm PM'ing you a contact number for a pretty good program I saw.

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Re: Drinking Water in radiological areas
« Reply #10 on: Nov 02, 2007, 09:52 »
The use of proximity switches to turn on a drinking fountain with a pump from bottled water through the cooler, works very well.  The workers only need to be near the fountain, and no one has to touch it to obtain a drink of cool water.  My thoughts only.

Yeah, that's the best I've seen, too.  Diablo does it that way if Hasher wants to contact them.
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Offline Hasher

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Re: Drinking Water in radiological areas
« Reply #11 on: Nov 02, 2007, 11:13 »
I have not see a proximity activated pump used in that manner.  It is an interesting idea and I appreciate the input.  I will be that 'outside the box' guy on this one.  lol

Thanks again.....
Cheers,

Hasher

Offline grantime

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Re: Drinking Water in radiological areas
« Reply #12 on: Nov 02, 2007, 12:51 »
Current Farley is using the proximity set up described above.  We have had good results.  I think that the water and cool room set ups have saved a lot of folks from getting overheated.  It can be used as an excuse not to let workers get the breaks that they need but I don't think that is the norm.  Years ago before we had it availble we used to make a lot first aide runs for overheating.  It is rare now. 
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Offline Already Gone

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Re: Drinking Water in radiological areas
« Reply #13 on: Nov 03, 2007, 08:50 »
Thank you wlrun3.  I have e-mailed the folks at Millstone.  I was on the phone with WANO this morning and the question was not able to be immediately answered there either.

I have used the "cool tents" etc before and I don't like the practice of managing refridgerators or coolers in C-zones, but I firmly believe we have to hydrate people or we will have to carry out someone and it is a lot harder monitoring an unconscious person than a cooler.

Having said that, we have drinking fountains throughout the plant.  We even have a coffee shop inside our "RCA".

I am looking for a facility that has year round drinking water more so than a short term area to mitigate heat stress. (I will take whatever I can get though)

Thanks again for the information and  as always the lively discussion.  Makes me want buy a pint for each and every one you.


I never trusted those fountains.  I was always afraid that there would be Tritium contamination in the piping.
But you and I had a lot of good conversations in the coffee shop.  I think that they are a good idea for low-risk RCA's like yours.  They give you a place to sit and get a drink without going into the cold weather, and they don't require 100 Igloo jugs all over the place with an RP tech assigned to do nothing else but survey them every shift.
If you need something in the RB or somewhere with more contamination potential, those proximity switches are the way to go.
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Re: Drinking Water in radiological areas
« Reply #14 on: Nov 03, 2007, 11:28 »
Troy,

     Thankyou for your explanation of the round reactor bldg at Hope Creek. You were exactly correct.

     Please reexplain tritium at CANDU's. Your description of the Canadian outage you worked is well worth recording here (green men, tritium sampling, etc.).

     What measures do American plants have in place to prevent tritium contamination of drinking water systems.

     How many nuclear workers are treated for heat exhaustion each outage season at US nuclear power plants.


« Last Edit: Nov 03, 2007, 11:31 by wlrun3 »

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Re: Drinking Water in radiological areas
« Reply #15 on: Nov 03, 2007, 02:42 »
Drinking stations are getting to be quite common in RCA's as well as Contaminated areas during outage. In my humble opinion, we have been way too anal for way too long. I don't advocate workers gathered around the water fountain or Gator-Aid station for social time but I have not seen it as a problem. I would rather run the very low risk of a small ingestion of radioactive material as apposed to falling out from heat...any day.
« Last Edit: Nov 03, 2007, 02:43 by Bat Man »
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Offline Marlin

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Re: Drinking Water in radiological areas
« Reply #16 on: Nov 03, 2007, 02:59 »

I never trusted those fountains.  I was always afraid that there would be Tritium contamination in the piping.
But you and I had a lot of good conversations in the coffee shop.  I think that they are a good idea for low-risk RCA's like yours.  They give you a place to sit and get a drink without going into the cold weather, and they don't require 100 Igloo jugs all over the place with an RP tech assigned to do nothing else but survey them every shift.
If you need something in the RB or somewhere with more contamination potential, those proximity switches are the way to go.

This reminds me of the sailors that made coffee from the process water tanks (70's or 80's). I know this is drifting a bit as the sailors did it knowing that the levels were very low (less than the river water), but wasn't there a commercial plant that crossed water lines to the potable water side? It seems the answer will include conscientious controls and monitoring but will be worth the effort.

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Re: Drinking Water in radiological areas
« Reply #17 on: Nov 03, 2007, 03:06 »
Troy,

     Thankyou for your explanation of the round reactor bldg at Hope Creek. You were exactly correct.

     Please reexplain tritium at CANDU's. Your description of the Canadian outage you worked is well worth recording here (green men, tritium sampling, etc.).

     What measures do American plants have in place to prevent tritium contamination of drinking water systems.

     How many nuclear workers are treated for heat exhaustion each outage season at US nuclear power plants.




Most of that would be off-topic.  Besides, Hasher is far more qualified than I to elaborate on Canadian Nukes.  He's still there.

But, as far as I know, American nukes do occasionally have Tritium problems in the ground water.  These are not nearly as severe as the potential in CANDU plants.

The number of heat related worker-safety incidents at US nuclear outages is far too high.  But, not all of this is solely caused by lack of drinking water.  In all the forms - good or bad - available, water is generally supplied to workers in these areas.  They fall out anyway.  You can lead a nuke to Sqincher, but you can't make him drink.

The question posed here is not whether or not to supply water, but what is the best method to do it and prevent ingestion of contaminants.  I go with the following, in more or less this order:
1. Separate clean areas with full body monitoring in areas of low heat load/work activity (where time is not a factor)
2. Proximity operated fountains in contaminated areas
3. Individual bottles
4. foot pedal operated fountains
5. a jug with paper cups
6. a cool mountain spring with huge pewter mugs carried to you by lovely young women in short shorts ...oops ... sorta drifted there ... thinking of Hooters again.    :P
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Re: Drinking Water in radiological areas
« Reply #18 on: Nov 03, 2007, 04:09 »

6. a cool mountain spring with huge pewter mugs carried to you by lovely young women in short shorts ...oops ... sorta drifted there ... thinking of Hooters again.    :P


Well, I never!!!!!

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Re: Drinking Water in radiological areas
« Reply #19 on: Nov 04, 2007, 08:26 »
At Cook we used an idea borrowed from Columbia Generating Station with some success. We supplied drinking fountains at the containment SOPs that were actuated by valves located underneath the retention sink. Same idea as the photo-cell without all the electronics. Supply for the system was a 110v pump that attached to the same sealed 5 gallon water bottles used in our clean areas and supplied by a local vendor. We never experienced any internal radiologic issues or any contamination of the equipment. I'm not sure we hydrated anyone beyond the mental aspect of just needing a drink of water but the workers appreciated the effort.  We also supply bottled water in bulk for emergencies inside the RCA and gatoraid outside the RCA. Not a perfect system but a work in progress.
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Offline B.PRESGROVE

Re: Drinking Water in radiological areas
« Reply #20 on: Nov 04, 2007, 08:32 »
As a former HP I would think it unheard of to have a driking fountain in a RCA or the like; however I did do my teeth cutting at the largest nanny site in the US SRS so take it for what its worth.  I do think though that a station with an automated pump is a great idea.  Let it run for a given time to wash the nozzle and have HP do entry surveys on the fountain would keep the risk so low I would dought there would be any problems at all. 

We would supply bottled water at SOPs and in buffer areas as long as they were able to be sealed after use.  We never had any cases of contamination, that I know of.

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Re: Drinking Water in radiological areas
« Reply #21 on: Nov 05, 2007, 07:21 »
largest nanny site in the US SRS   ::)

You got that exactly right, and you can not do a job without violating some body’s procedure. >:(

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Re: Drinking Water in radiological areas
« Reply #22 on: Nov 05, 2007, 11:54 »
If you're soooooo hot that you just HAVE to have a drink inside of a CA, you're probably also "too wet to be working inside of a CA."

Leave the RCA, don dry clothes, get a drink, then return to work. 

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Like Troja, I'll jump down now.
« Last Edit: Nov 05, 2007, 11:56 by Melrose »

Offline B.PRESGROVE

Re: Drinking Water in radiological areas
« Reply #23 on: Nov 05, 2007, 01:41 »
Good points. 

illegalsmile

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Re: Drinking Water in radiological areas
« Reply #24 on: Nov 05, 2007, 03:01 »
Proper hydration prior to working in a RCA is the simple answer.  If someone actually needs water in the RCA it would be during a Heat induced illness, which typically calls for cooling the bodies core temperature and not introducing fluids by mouth.  Ice packs under the arms and an IV to provide the hydration.  Water in the RCA is purely a comfort issue that has had the safety factor brought in and used to get it implemented in the past.

There is one exception.......back in the day fo the original Duke Core, Mellon Head would leave behind a trail of sweat that even the best K mac'r couldn't keep up with, he needed fluid replacement!

Taking sufficient (in frequency and duration) breaks to allow rest and hydration is the most desireable answer. The reason for allowing water in the work area is to keep the workers on the job. It's not a good substitute for relief from a heat-stress environment, but I believe it can be done without getting anyone contaminated.

 


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