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Offline Rennhack

Transuranics
« on: Dec 28, 2003, 06:01 »
Lessons Learned: Transuranics

The purpose of this forum is to document on-the-job work experiences. Submit your best solutions for various jobs and processes. This is not to be plant specific, rumor, slander or urban legend. Postings will be reviewed, verified, edited for content, and archived for future reference. Post a summary for review if you wish to post a thesis or position paper. We are getting fewer and fewer, but before the knowledge is lost forever and plant / sites reinvent the wheel; we need to document what we have learned.
« Last Edit: Jan 12, 2004, 12:07 by Rennhack »

moke

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Re: Lessons Learned: Transuranics
« Reply #1 on: Dec 30, 2003, 06:54 »
A nice thing to understand is the definition of TRU and that Alpha has a Strong Positive Charge that allows contamination to migrate as readily as it does.

Like a magnet and what we have learned in gradfe school applies. It's so, so important to ensure that your work areas are as clean and well maintained as possible so that one is able to detect the slightest trend regarding migration and not to mention resuspension.

For those of you who have hot particle or fuel fragment experience the same applications apply.

TRU constituents such as Pu-239/241 or Am-241 require a little different monitoring/detection techniques that is hinged upon Low Energy Photons that can be very elusive an not detectable if you lack the proper detection device such as that of a Fiddler that has the correct geometry and NaI(Tl) target to see such low energy photons.

As many of you know, proceed with caution and render respect vice fear. It's also important to understand the physical makeup and characteristics of the TRU source. TRU is one of the trickiest critters to deal with yet our COUNTRY has the technology.

Beware of those who talk a big game and display disrespect. You will find that many out there are FULL-OF-SHIT and have very little understanding and expertise. Many of those yahoos are incharge and now you have a continual potential meltdown situation.

If you deal with TRU, be at your best and ask questions. Don't perform something that you are not sure of nor take the advice of the above mentioned pretenders. Remember that you have to remain clam at all times and the calmness comes from a very clear understanding of thoise tendancies attributed by the target isotope or more politically correct Contaminant of Concern (COC).

Render respect not fear. Housekeeping is your Ace in the hole. Remember about Hot Particle Zone Controls. You must be a Master at Air Sampling since Bioassays have many flaws. Utilize removable layered floor covering to ease quick decon if required to control migration. Utilize engineering controls. A simple HEPA Vacuum with low flow capabilities is another tool to take to war with you. Document everything since we all know that it is our bread and butter.

Good luck. Stay focused and you will prevail!

Aloha,

Moke

Shaton

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Re: Transuranics
« Reply #2 on: Nov 11, 2004, 01:54 »
I'm new to the HP world, but where I work we deal with transuranics everyday, the more I study on the subject the more I worry about some of the work habits of our employees. We have a good crew here, but does anyone have any suggestions on how to convey to people that what they are working with is some really bad stuff. They seem to think if they cant see it, it wont hurt them.

                                         thanks

RAD-GHOST

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Re: Transuranics
« Reply #3 on: Nov 11, 2004, 06:33 »
If anyone could anyone could answer that question, with absolute certainty, they would be a NUCLEAR GOD! 

Here's one approach that works, put the tools in their hands!  If your out on a job, put the meter in their hand and have them check out a few known sources.  Most will get an immediate respect for what their working with, since they found it themselves, seeing is believing!  Of course it usually turns into a one hour found it game, among the crew, but it gets the point across!  Meters with audible features, at high volume, work best!

PS:  Be prepared to answer questions at break!

Hope this Helps, RG

 

Offline Roll Tide

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Re: Transuranics
« Reply #4 on: Nov 11, 2004, 09:14 »

Here's one approach that works, put the tools in their hands!  If your out on a job, put the meter in their hand and have them check out a few known sources.  Most will get an immediate respect for what their working with, since they found it themselves, seeing is believing!  Of course it usually turns into a one hour found it game, among the crew, but it gets the point across!  Meters with audible features, at high volume, work best!
 

As an alternative to actually letting them "touch the meter", you need to have the settings where there is significant visual response (audio would be a bonus)! For example, most techs provide Refuel floor coverage with RSO-50 (or equivalent). If the GA dose rate is 2 mrem/hr, that shows up much better on RSO-5 (barely flicker vs. 40% of scale!)
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Shaton

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Re: Transuranics
« Reply #5 on: Nov 14, 2004, 09:26 »
Thanks for feed back. Hopefully I can set some guys loose with an old model 3 and let it sing for them..lol.  Maybe they will catch a clue.

moodusjack

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Re: Transuranics
« Reply #6 on: Nov 19, 2004, 05:23 »
These little critters can impart large internal dose thanks to the emitted alpha energy.  In many cases you have to implement "24 hour void buddy" or repeated use of tupperware to estimated dose.  Not as easy as a simple body count.

Also, with some of them, determining whether they were ingested or inhaled baded on in-vitro is also difficult.

Offline Bingo

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Re: Transuranics
« Reply #7 on: Nov 22, 2004, 01:15 »
Scott.  When working with TRU waste recently, the operators performing the work seeed complacant about proper work practices.  They wanted to work fast and ended contaminating the entire work area as a result.  It seemed to stop when after each drum I made the operators decon the area they just contaminated.  They found if they work slow and didn't fling crap everywhere they were able to keep the area and themselves clean and actually were more productive than they were going at it like sheep-killing dogs.  Work slow, change gloves often... ;)

Offline 870xprs

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Re: Transuranics
« Reply #8 on: Dec 13, 2004, 10:38 »
Is a whole body count adequate screening for TRUs?  A WBC is just a go/no-go tool, right?  I guess the protocol would be to first use WBCs as a screening tool.  Then if detectable levels of TRUs are found, the licensee should collect in-vitro samples which are used to calculate CEDE.

My real concern is whether or not WBCs are sensitive enough to detect low levels of TRUs.  What is a reasonable LLD of a WBC for certain TRUs?


Valkrider

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Re: Transuranics
« Reply #9 on: Dec 13, 2004, 11:10 »
typically it's either a lung count or bioassay that is used for TRU isotopes.  In my experience either one or the other is acceptable for the purpose of site exit requirements.

 


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