Evaluation of LLNL's Nuclear Accident Dosimeters at the CALIBAN Reactor September 2010

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The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory uses neutron activation elements in a Panasonic TLD holder as a personnel nuclear accident dosimeter (PNAD). The LLNL PNAD has periodically been tested using a Cf-252 neutron source, however until 2009, it was more than 25 years since the PNAD has been tested against a source of neutrons that arise from a reactor generated neutron spectrum that simulates a criticality. In October 2009, LLNL participated in an intercomparison of nuclear accident dosimeters at the CEA Valduc Silene reactor (Hickman, et.al. 2010). In September 2010, LLNL participated in a second intercomparison of nuclear accident dosimeters at ... continued below

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Hickman, D P; Wysong, A R; Heinrichs, D P; Wong, C T; Merritt, M J; Topper, J D et al. June 21, 2011.

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The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory uses neutron activation elements in a Panasonic TLD holder as a personnel nuclear accident dosimeter (PNAD). The LLNL PNAD has periodically been tested using a Cf-252 neutron source, however until 2009, it was more than 25 years since the PNAD has been tested against a source of neutrons that arise from a reactor generated neutron spectrum that simulates a criticality. In October 2009, LLNL participated in an intercomparison of nuclear accident dosimeters at the CEA Valduc Silene reactor (Hickman, et.al. 2010). In September 2010, LLNL participated in a second intercomparison of nuclear accident dosimeters at CEA Valduc. The reactor generated neutron irradiations for the 2010 exercise were performed at the Caliban reactor. The Caliban results are described in this report. The procedure for measuring the nuclear accident dosimeters in the event of an accident has a solid foundation based on many experimental results and comparisons. The entire process, from receiving the activated NADs to collecting and storing them after counting was executed successfully in a field based operation. Under normal conditions at LLNL, detectors are ready and available 24/7 to perform the necessary measurement of nuclear accident components. Likewise LLNL maintains processing laboratories that are separated from the areas where measurements occur, but contained within the same facility for easy movement from processing area to measurement area. In the event of a loss of LLNL permanent facilities, the Caliban and previous Silene exercises have demonstrated that LLNL can establish field operations that will very good nuclear accident dosimetry results. There are still several aspects of LLNL's nuclear accident dosimetry program that have not been tested or confirmed. For instance, LLNL's method for using of biological samples (blood and hair) has not been verified since the method was first developed in the 1980's. Because LLNL and the other DOE participants were limited in what they were allowed to do at the Caliban and Silene exercises and testing of various elements of the nuclear accident dosimetry programs cannot always be performed as guests at other sites, it has become evident that DOE needs its own capability to test nuclear accident dosimeters. Angular dependence determination and correction factors for NADs desperately need testing as well as more evaluation regarding the correct determination of gamma doses. It will be critical to properly design any testing facility so that the necessary experiments can be performed by DOE laboratories as well as guest laboratories. Alternate methods of dose assessment such as using various metals commonly found in pockets and clothing have yet to be evaluated. The DOE is planning to utilize the Godiva or Flattop reactor for testing nuclear accident dosimeters. LLNL has been assigned the primary operational authority for such testing. Proper testing of nuclear accident dosimeters will require highly specific characterization of the pulse fields. Just as important as the characterization of the pulsed fields will be the design of facilities used to process the NADs. Appropriate facilities will be needed to allow for early access to dosimeters to test and develop quick sorting techniques. These facilities will need appropriate laboratory preparation space and an area for measurements. Finally, such a facility will allow greater numbers of LLNL and DOE laboratory personnel to train on the processing and interpretation of nuclear accident dosimeters and results. Until this facility is fully operational for test purposes, DOE laboratories may need to continue periodic testing as guests of other reactor facilities such as Silene and Caliban.

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PDF-file: 36 pages; size: 1.9 Mbytes

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  • Report No.: LLNL-TR-489712
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • DOI: 10.2172/1033328 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1033328
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc845006

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Creation Date

  • June 21, 2011

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Dec. 5, 2016, 3:21 p.m.

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Hickman, D P; Wysong, A R; Heinrichs, D P; Wong, C T; Merritt, M J; Topper, J D et al. Evaluation of LLNL's Nuclear Accident Dosimeters at the CALIBAN Reactor September 2010, report, June 21, 2011; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc845006/: accessed October 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.