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Marvin

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Re: Personnel Contamination Events (PCE's)
« Reply #25 on: Sep 28, 2008, 06:44 »
My perspective on radiological risk has certainly shifted since back when.  Yeah, I think 3 R/hr particle should probably be documented (after removal of course).  I wonder how long that particle would have to be on the skin before it started to turn red? (not the particle, the skin)

I just spent 3 weeks in the middle east with a radiation biologist who had been studying the effects of Chernobyl on little furry critters.  Now, her risk perspective was really skewed in the what we could consider "wrong" direction.  She was looking at biological effects, not personnel contamination paperwork.  She did get me to thinking about the flawed basis behind the linear threshold dose response curve, which we all know drives the current dose limits.

Here's a question for you?  How many times have you personally seen people in the nuke plants get hurt?  Ok, next question.  How many times did that have anything to do with radiation exposure?  Now, with that in mind, don't you think we've all went a little overboard in protecting people from radiation?  I know, job security is good, but someday our kids and grandkids will look back on all the stuff we did with ALARA and wonder what the heck we were thinking.

The nuclear world started out thinking that radiation was just a good tool to look at bones with.  Then it was discovered that it could hurt you and the pendulum swung to the right.  So, when will it be time for it to swing back to center?  Events have a way of recalibrating the pendulum.  Some of you probably remember when asbestos was safe too.  I'm of the opinion that lawsuits shouldn't drive the pendulum.  Unfortunately, in America, that has became the reality.

Come to think of it, the pendulum probably started to swing back a little bit in the early 90's when we stopped sucking rubber every time we found contamination.  I wonder when we will take that next step and stop generating generous quantities of paperwork every time somebody gets crapped up.  So long as we can keep the people driving the boat a little confused about what real risk is we all should be able to keep our jobs.  We can expect a recalibration when the next major event occurs.  Course we'll have a lot of stuff to frisk then and the lawyers will have lots of suing to do to.

The future's so bright -- now where are my shades?

Offline G-reg

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Re: Personnel Contamination Events (PCE's)
« Reply #26 on: Sep 28, 2008, 11:51 »
Marvin,

Wonderful argument!

But unfortunately, it has an Achilles' heel: a public population which is generally uneducated regarding radiological risk.  And as long as "public population" in the previous sentence can also be spoken as "constituent voter population" and/or "juror population", then things are going to remain pretty much just as they are now.  There may be some tweaking here-and-there, but I don't foresee a wholesale industry shift to true risk-based radiological protection during my career...

Just my thoughts,
 - Greg
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Offline Already Gone

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Re: Personnel Contamination Events (PCE's)
« Reply #27 on: Sep 29, 2008, 12:53 »
Fear and ignorance are not a sound foundation on which to build a program that protects the employees and the public.  Fear and ignorance are not a good reason to do anything, now that I think about it.  So, why do we govern ourselves in a way that spends too much time and money on one small hazard while practically ignoring the immediate hazards?

How many RP's at your plant?  How many safety technicians?  You probably have a hundred or more friskers, but only two WBGT meters.

Honest to Gawd!  I do less paperwork for a broken arm than I ever did for a 10 mRad SDE on the same arm.  Really!  Consider the possibility that the same person who got the 10 mRad on his stupid elbow is going outside into the sunlight to smoke a Marlboro as soon as you get him to clear the PCM.
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Offline G-reg

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Re: Personnel Contamination Events (PCE's)
« Reply #28 on: Sep 29, 2008, 10:49 »
Troy,

The short and honest answer:

In this country, fear and ignorance are not a sound foundation for anything except litigation.  And therein lies the answer to many questions of the universe, such as why we have "Caution-Hot" warnings on cups of coffee.

Essentially, if a given ambulance-chaser can whip up a good enough sob story to sway 12 people (who each lack formal radiation protection training), then the price tag on the resultant verdict is gonna cut DEEP.  From whence, springs the corporate fear of public fear and ignorance.  And out of that corporate fear is borne their desire to CYA - indeed, in our litigious society, even their need to CYA.

*That* is the real 'origin of the species' regarding several of the protection(?) practices currently in place.  Is it an ideal system? or an ideal way to model a system?  Hell, no.  But to employ anything different in today's society is to risk getting yourself sued out of corporate existence.

So getting back a little closer to the central topic of this particular thread, I think that there really should be at least some documentation (even if it's just a single line or two in a log entry) whenever there's a PCE, even on modesties.  Otherwise, Worker X goes home after shift and complains to his/her spouse about the whole rigamaroll getting out of the RCA because they found contamination on his/her ____ (fill in the blank).  Worker X's spouse just happens to be the cousin of some lawyer/reporter/congressional aide/etc., and next thing you know Somebody (with a capital "S") is querying the company about the event - and the company doesn't have any record at all of what took place.  The only evidence the company would have in that case comes down to an eye-witness recollection of the HP Tech who happened to process nine hundred thousand other people outta the RCA during that shift.  (Not exactly a legal defense posture that the shareholders would be happy with.)

So all rambling aside, risk-based radiological protection has been overshadowed considerably by risk-based legal protection.

It's a mad, mad, mad, mad world...   :(
"But that's just my opinion - I could be wrong."
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Offline HydroDave63

Re: Personnel Contamination Events (PCE's)
« Reply #29 on: Sep 29, 2008, 11:02 »
Troy,

The short and honest answer:

In this country, fear and ignorance are not a sound foundation for anything except litigation.  And therein lies the answer to many questions of the universe, such as why we have "Caution-Hot" warnings on cups of coffee.

Essentially, if a given ambulance-chaser can whip up a good enough sob story to sway 12 people (who each lack formal radiation protection training), then the price tag on the resultant verdict is gonna cut DEEP.  

At least $3.5 million at one plant....

Marvin

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Re: Personnel Contamination Events (PCE's)
« Reply #30 on: Sep 29, 2008, 11:55 »
Very well put G-reg.  Unfortunate but true.  Risk based radiological protection has taken a backseat to the litigators.  I'm still waiting on that recalibration event.  Maybe in our lifetime, maybe not.


wlrun3@aol.com

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Re: Personnel Contamination Events (PCE's)
« Reply #31 on: Sep 30, 2008, 12:10 »
Very well put G-reg.  Unfortunate but true.  Risk based radiological protection has taken a backseat to the litigators.  I'm still waiting on that recalibration event.  Maybe in our lifetime, maybe not.



   ...BIER 7 was very straight forward in its reimphasis of LNT and the ALARA concept...

   ...can we view nuisance personnel contaminations as collective precursors to a program deficiency that will, if not corrected, generate large, expensive, and dangerous contamination events...





« Last Edit: Sep 30, 2008, 12:11 by wlrun3 »

Marvin

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Re: Personnel Contamination Events (PCE's)
« Reply #32 on: Sep 30, 2008, 06:46 »
The collective precursor approach is certainly a valid argument, which pushes the pendulum towards protection.  But even this argument can be easily disputed when looking at it from a pure risk-based approach.

Are the resources used to identify, track, and recover from personnel contamination events commensurate with the risks?  Who even knows where we are on the protection vs. production scale when it comes to this specific topic?  Even the specific spot on the scale is subjective and ambiguous.

We are trying to measure the absence of a negative consequence which will be debatable long after we are gone.  We will all be employable as long as the debate continues, so from that perspective, we should continue to document everything down to the nat's behind and crank up the volume on the frisker.  Maybe even install little mini-amp's and Bose speakers to make sure the unfortunate production oriented victim is traumatized to the point of "coming over to the other side".  We might even consider changing frisker speaker output to play the theme from "jaws" rather than that annoying clicking sound.   ;D

wlrun3@aol.com

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Re: Personnel Contamination Events (PCE's)
« Reply #33 on: Sep 30, 2008, 07:52 »
The collective precursor approach is certainly a valid argument, which pushes the pendulum towards protection.  But even this argument can be easily disputed when looking at it from a pure risk-based approach.

Are the resources used to identify, track, and recover from personnel contamination events commensurate with the risks?  Who even knows where we are on the protection vs. production scale when it comes to this specific topic?  Even the specific spot on the scale is subjective and ambiguous.
   
We are trying to measure the absence of a negative consequence which will be debatable long after we are gone.  We will all be employable as long as the debate continues, so from that perspective, we should continue to document everything down to the nat's behind and crank up the volume on the frisker.  Maybe even install little mini-amp's and Bose speakers to make sure the unfortunate production oriented victim is traumatized to the point of "coming over to the other side".  We might even consider changing frisker speaker output to play the theme from "jaws" rather than that annoying clicking sound.   ;D

   ...we can, in simple language, explain that an intake of 100k dpm equates to several mR...

   ... that most of the contaminant is excreted rapidly...

   ... that one worker in twenty five hundred per rem received will develop a fatal cancer due to their exposure...

   ...that, comparatively, five hundred of twenty five hundred members of the general public will develop a fatal cancer due to their environment...

   ...we can develop a contagious sense of pride in our industry and relay a message of respect and gratitude to the worker who is allowing us to exist in our supporting role...

   ...we can, collectively and optimistically, instill in the worker a well informed and common sense second nature in respect to contamination...

   ...we can explain, unspectacularily, the consequences of the loss of control of large ammounts of contamination... 

   ...your post was well written...thankyou







   

   
« Last Edit: Sep 30, 2008, 08:01 by wlrun3 »

Offline Dave Warren

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Re: Personnel Contamination Events (PCE's)
« Reply #34 on: Jun 30, 2011, 03:19 »
I am doing a Root Cause Analysis regarding excessive PCE's for the next 5 weeks.
I will let you know what the real truth is....;)

 


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