Neutron activation analysis of airborne thorium liberated during welding operations

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Typically, reactive metals such as aluminum are welded using a thoriated tungsten welding electrode which is attached to a source of argon gas such that the local atmosphere around the weld is inert. The metal is heated by the arc formed between the electrode and the grounded component to be welded. During this process, some of the electrode is vaporized in the arc and is potentially liberated to the surrounding air. This situation may result in a hazardous airborne thorium level. Because the electrode is consumed during welding, the electrode tip must be repeatedly dressed by grinding the tip to ... continued below

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5 p.

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Glasgow, D.C.; Robinson, L. & Janjovic, J.T. February 1, 1996.

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Description

Typically, reactive metals such as aluminum are welded using a thoriated tungsten welding electrode which is attached to a source of argon gas such that the local atmosphere around the weld is inert. The metal is heated by the arc formed between the electrode and the grounded component to be welded. During this process, some of the electrode is vaporized in the arc and is potentially liberated to the surrounding air. This situation may result in a hazardous airborne thorium level. Because the electrode is consumed during welding, the electrode tip must be repeatedly dressed by grinding the tip to a fine point so that the optimal welding conditions are maintained. These grinding activities may also release thorium to the air. Data generated in the 1950s suggested that these electrodes posed no significant health hazard and seemed to justify their exemption from licensing requirements for source material. Since that time, other studies have been performed and present conflicting results as to the level of risk. Values both above and below the health protection limit in use in the United States, have been reported in the literature recently. This study is being undertaken to provide additional data which may be useful in evaluating both the chemical toxicity risk and radiological dose assessment criteria associated with thoriated tungsten welding operations.

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5 p.

Notes

INIS; OSTI as DE96005984

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  • Annual meeting of the American Nuclear Society (ANS), Reno, NV (United States), 16-20 Jun 1996

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  • Other: DE96005984
  • Report No.: CONF-9606116--2
  • Grant Number: AC05-84OR21400
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 225039
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc669539

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • February 1, 1996

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  • June 29, 2015, 9:42 p.m.

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  • April 7, 2016, 8:21 p.m.

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Glasgow, D.C.; Robinson, L. & Janjovic, J.T. Neutron activation analysis of airborne thorium liberated during welding operations, article, February 1, 1996; Tennessee. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc669539/: accessed January 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.