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Title: Aerosol Sampling System for Collection of Capstone Depleted Uranium Particles in a High-Energy Environment

Abstract

The Capstone Depleted Uranium Aerosol Study was undertaken to obtain aerosol samples resulting from a kinetic-energy cartridge with a large-caliber depleted uranium (DU) penetrator striking an Abrams or Bradley test vehicle. The sampling strategy was designed to (1) optimize the performance of the samplers and maintain their integrity in the extreme environment created during perforation of an armored vehicle by a DU penetrator, (2) collect aerosols as a function of time post-impact, and (3) obtain size-classified samples for analysis of chemical composition, particle morphology, and solubility in lung fluid. This paper describes the experimental setup and sampling methodologies used to achieve these objectives. Custom-designed arrays of sampling heads were secured to the inside of the target in locations approximating the breathing zones of the vehicle commander, loader, gunner, and driver. Each array was designed to support nine filter cassettes and nine cascade impactors mounted with quick-disconnect fittings. Shielding and sampler placement strategies were used to minimize sampler loss caused by the penetrator impact and the resulting fragments of eroded penetrator and perforated armor. A cyclone train was used to collect larger quantities of DU aerosol for chemical composition and solubility. A moving filter sample was used to obtain semicontinuous samplesmore » for depleted uranium concentration determination. Control for the air samplers was provided by five remotely located valve control and pressure monitoring units located inside and around the test vehicle. These units were connected to a computer interface chassis and controlled using a customized LabVIEW engineering computer control program. The aerosol sampling arrays and control systems for the Capstone study provided the needed aerosol samples for physicochemical analysis, and the resultant data were used for risk assessment of exposure to DU aerosol.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
951826
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-49721
Journal ID: ISSN 0017-9078; HLTPAO; 400403209; TRN: US0902323
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Health Physics, 96(3):221-237; Journal Volume: 96; Journal Issue: 3
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; AEROSOLS; AIR SAMPLERS; CASCADE IMPACTORS; CHEMICAL COMPOSITION; COMPUTERS; CONTROL SYSTEMS; DEPLETED URANIUM; KINETIC ENERGY; LUNGS; MONITORING; MORPHOLOGY; PENETRATORS; RESPIRATION; RISK ASSESSMENT; SAMPLERS; SAMPLING; SHIELDING; SOLUBILITY; VALVES; depleted uranium aerosols; aerosol sampling

Citation Formats

Holmes, Thomas D., Guilmette, Raymond A., Cheng, Yung-Sung, Parkhurst, MaryAnn, and Hoover, Mark D. Aerosol Sampling System for Collection of Capstone Depleted Uranium Particles in a High-Energy Environment. United States: N. p., 2009. Web. doi:10.1097/01.HP.0000290610.53663.57.
Holmes, Thomas D., Guilmette, Raymond A., Cheng, Yung-Sung, Parkhurst, MaryAnn, & Hoover, Mark D. Aerosol Sampling System for Collection of Capstone Depleted Uranium Particles in a High-Energy Environment. United States. doi:10.1097/01.HP.0000290610.53663.57.
Holmes, Thomas D., Guilmette, Raymond A., Cheng, Yung-Sung, Parkhurst, MaryAnn, and Hoover, Mark D. 2009. "Aerosol Sampling System for Collection of Capstone Depleted Uranium Particles in a High-Energy Environment". United States. doi:10.1097/01.HP.0000290610.53663.57.
@article{osti_951826,
title = {Aerosol Sampling System for Collection of Capstone Depleted Uranium Particles in a High-Energy Environment},
author = {Holmes, Thomas D. and Guilmette, Raymond A. and Cheng, Yung-Sung and Parkhurst, MaryAnn and Hoover, Mark D.},
abstractNote = {The Capstone Depleted Uranium Aerosol Study was undertaken to obtain aerosol samples resulting from a kinetic-energy cartridge with a large-caliber depleted uranium (DU) penetrator striking an Abrams or Bradley test vehicle. The sampling strategy was designed to (1) optimize the performance of the samplers and maintain their integrity in the extreme environment created during perforation of an armored vehicle by a DU penetrator, (2) collect aerosols as a function of time post-impact, and (3) obtain size-classified samples for analysis of chemical composition, particle morphology, and solubility in lung fluid. This paper describes the experimental setup and sampling methodologies used to achieve these objectives. Custom-designed arrays of sampling heads were secured to the inside of the target in locations approximating the breathing zones of the vehicle commander, loader, gunner, and driver. Each array was designed to support nine filter cassettes and nine cascade impactors mounted with quick-disconnect fittings. Shielding and sampler placement strategies were used to minimize sampler loss caused by the penetrator impact and the resulting fragments of eroded penetrator and perforated armor. A cyclone train was used to collect larger quantities of DU aerosol for chemical composition and solubility. A moving filter sample was used to obtain semicontinuous samples for depleted uranium concentration determination. Control for the air samplers was provided by five remotely located valve control and pressure monitoring units located inside and around the test vehicle. These units were connected to a computer interface chassis and controlled using a customized LabVIEW engineering computer control program. The aerosol sampling arrays and control systems for the Capstone study provided the needed aerosol samples for physicochemical analysis, and the resultant data were used for risk assessment of exposure to DU aerosol.},
doi = {10.1097/01.HP.0000290610.53663.57},
journal = {Health Physics, 96(3):221-237},
number = 3,
volume = 96,
place = {United States},
year = 2009,
month = 3
}
  • Risks to personnel engaged in military operations include not only the threat of enemy firepower but also risks from exposure to other hazards such as radiation. Combatant commanders of the U. S. Army carefully weigh risks of casualties before implementing battlefield actions using an established paradigm that take these risks into consideration. As a result of the inclusion of depleted uranium (DU) anti-armor ammunition in the conventional (non-nuclear) weapons arsenal, the potential for exposure to DU aerosols and its associated chemical and radiological effects becomes an element of the commanders’ risk assessment. The Capstone DU Aerosol Study measured the rangemore » of likely DU oxide aerosol concentrations created inside a combat vehicle perforated with a DU munition, and the Capstone Human Health Risk Assessment (HHRA) estimated the associated doses and calculated risks. This paper focuses on the development of a scientific approach to adapt the risks from DU’s non uniform dose distribution within the body using the current U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) radiation risk management approach. The approach developed equates the Radiation Exposure Status (RES) categories to the estimated radiological risks of DU and makes use of the Capstone-developed Renal Effects Group (REG) as a measure of chemical risk from DU intake. Recommendations are provided for modifying Army guidance and policy in order to better encompass the potential risks from DU aerosol inhalation during military operations.« less
  • Beta activity measurements were used as surrogate measurements of uranium mass in aerosol samples collected during the field testing phase of the Capstone Depleted Uranium (DU) Aerosol Study. These aerosol samples generated by the perforation of armored combat vehicles were used to characterize the depleted uranium (DU) source term for the subsequent human health risk assessment (HHRA) of Capstone aerosols. Establishing a calibration curve between beta activity measurements and uranium mass measurements is straightforward if the uranium isotopes are in equilibrium with their immediate short-lived, beta-emitting progeny. For DU samples collected during the Capstone study, it was determined that themore » equilibrium between the uranium isotopes and their immediate short lived, beta-emitting progeny had been disrupted when penetrators had perforated target vehicles. Adjustments were made to account for the disrupted equilibrium and for wall losses in the aerosol samplers. Correction factors for the disrupted equilibrium ranged from 0.16 to 1, and the wall loss correction factors ranged from 1 to 1.92.« less
  • One of the principal goals of the Capstone Depleted Uranium (DU) Aerosol Study was to quantify and characterize DU aerosols generated inside armored vehicles by perforation with a DU penetrator. This study consequently produced a database in which the DU aerosol source terms were specified both physically and chemically for a variety of penetrator-impact geometries and conditions. These source terms were used to calculate radiation doses and uranium concentrations for various scenarios as part of the Capstone DU Human Health Risk Assessment (HHRA). This paper describes the scenario-related biokinetics of uranium, and summarizes intakes, chemical concentrations to the organs, andmore » E(50) and HT(50) for organs and tissues based on exposure scenarios for personnel in vehicles at the time of perforation as well as for first responders. For a given exposure scenario (duration time and breathing rates), the range of DU intakes among the target vehicles and shots was not large, about a factor of 10, with the lowest being from a ventilated operational Abrams tank and the highest being for an unventilated Abrams with DU penetrator perforating DU armor. The ranges of committed effective doses were more scenario-dependent than were intakes. For example, the largest range, a factor of 20, was shown for scenario A, a 1-min exposure, whereas, the range was only a factor of two for the first-responder scenario (E). In general, the committed effective doses were found to be in the tens of mSv. The risks ascribed to these doses are discussed separately.« less
  • The rationale for the Capstone Depleted Uranium (DU) Aerosol Characterization and Risk Assessment Program and its results and applications have been examined in the previous 13 articles of this special issue. This paper summarizes the results and discusses its successes and lessons learned. The robust data from the Capstone DU Aerosol Study have provided a sound basis for assessing the inhalation exposure to DU aerosols and the dose and risk to personnel in combat vehicles at the time of perforation and to those entering immediately after perforation. The Human Health Risk Assessment provided a technically sound process for evaluating chemicalmore » and radiological doses and risks from DU aerosol exposure using well-accepted biokinetic and dosimetric models innovatively applied. An independent review of the study process and results is summarized, and recommendations for possible avenues of future study by the authors and by other major reviews of DU health hazards are provided.« less
  • The Capstone Depleted Uranium (DU) Aerosol Characterization and Risk Assessment Study was conducted to generate data about DU aerosols generated during the perforation of armored combat vehicles with large-caliber DU penetrators, and to apply the data in assessments of human health risks to personnel exposed to these aerosols, primarily through inhalation, during the 1991 Gulf War or in future military operations. The Capstone study consisted of two components: 1) generating, sampling and characterizing DU aerosols by firing at and perforating combat vehicles and 2) applying the source-term quantities and characteristics of the aerosols to the evaluation of doses and risks.more » This paper reviews the background of the study including the bases for the study, previous reviews of DU particles and health assessments from DU used by the U.S. military, the objectives of the study components, the participants and oversight teams, and the types of exposures it was intended to evaluate. It then discusses exposure scenarios used in the dose and risk assessment and provides an overview of how the field tests and dose and risk assessments were conducted.« less