Effects of Elevated Radon Levels on Kanne Tritium Monitors

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The Savannah River Site has used Kanne ionization chambers since the late 1950's to monitor for airborne tritium in reactor facilities. Two Kanne monitors indicated elevated airborne tritium levels while monitoring a non-ventilated room used to store tritiated liquid moderator. Subsequent air sample analysis failed to reveal the presence of airborne tritium. It was suspected that elevated radon levels caused the Kanne monitors to falsely indicate tritium activity. Two commercially available monitoring systems were used to quantify radon levels in the storage room. Measurements performed during this evaluation found that radon caused the Kanne monitors in the storage room to ... continued below

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Farrell, W.E. November 24, 2003.

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The Savannah River Site has used Kanne ionization chambers since the late 1950's to monitor for airborne tritium in reactor facilities. Two Kanne monitors indicated elevated airborne tritium levels while monitoring a non-ventilated room used to store tritiated liquid moderator. Subsequent air sample analysis failed to reveal the presence of airborne tritium. It was suspected that elevated radon levels caused the Kanne monitors to falsely indicate tritium activity. Two commercially available monitoring systems were used to quantify radon levels in the storage room. Measurements performed during this evaluation found that radon caused the Kanne monitors in the storage room to falsely indicate the presence of airborne tritium. A side-by-side comparison of a filtered versus an unfiltered Kanne monitor found that a high efficiency particulate filter reduced monitor response to near background under high radon conditions. It was recommended that a high efficiency filter be installed on the dedicated storage room Kanne monitor and that the room be de-posted as an Airborne Radioactivity Area. It was also found that the Kanne monitors would detect a spill from a single drum of moderator within minutes and the dose rate due to tritium exposure at 20 hours following this spill would be 4.56 rem/hour.

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  • 2004 Health Physics Society Mid-Year Meeting on Air Monitoring, Augusta, GA (US), 02/08/2004--02/11/2004

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  • Report No.: WSRC-MS-2003-00578-001
  • Grant Number: AC09-96SR18500
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 820860
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc734038

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  • November 24, 2003

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  • Oct. 18, 2015, 6:40 p.m.

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  • May 5, 2016, 3:52 p.m.

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Farrell, W.E. Effects of Elevated Radon Levels on Kanne Tritium Monitors, article, November 24, 2003; South Carolina. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc734038/: accessed October 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.