Document Details

Health Physics Progress Report, July 1, 1952 through December 31, 1952
Struxness, E G [Carbide and Carbon Chemicals Co., Oak Ridge, TN]; Struxness, E G [Carbide and Carbon Chemicals Co., Oak Ridge, TN]
Subject Terms:
beta, radiation, casting; health physics, sampling; hoods, analysis, cyclotron; isotope, plutonium, alpha; mercury, uranium, beryllium; progress report, Y-12 Plant
Document Location:
DOE INFORMATION CENTER 1 Way, Oak Ridge, TN 37831; Eva Butler; Phone: 865-241-4780; Toll-Free: 800-382-6938, Option 6; FAX: 865-574-3521; Email:
Document Categories:
Science and Technology\Geology, Hydrology, Seismology, Site Studies; Science and Technology\Geology, Hydrology, Seismology, Site Studies
Document Type:
Publication Date:
1954 Feb 08
Declassification Date:
1979 Dec 31
Declassification Status:
Document Pages:
Accession Number:
Document Number(s):
Originating Research Org.:
Oak Ridge Y-12 Plant
OpenNet Entry Date:
1998 Jun 16
This document contains the Health Physics Progress Report for July 1, 1952 through December 31, 1952. Air analysis for mercury indicated a trend toward higher concentrations resulting from rapid expansion of mercury handling facilities, lag in the installation of ventilation equipment, and in development of good housekeeping practices. Effective control measures in areas handling beryllium and its compounds continued. Most of the contamination levels were lower than comparable ones for the previous period with the exception of breathing-zone samples taken at the operation handling enriched, soluble material, using respiratory equipment. The monthly average contamination level indicated a downward trend of the air contamination in both normal and enhanced uranium operations. One abnormally high air average in the foundry was due to a uranium metal fire. New hoods with improved ventilation are being installed in the enhanced foundry area. An analysis of the personnel exposures in the cyclotron area indicated beta radiation has consistently been the largest contributor to exposure incidents. Film badges and film rings were used to determine which areas of the body need localized protection during typical target removal operations, and overall body exposures were considerably reduced by wearing protective equipment. A program has been initiated to explore the possibility of separating plutonium isotopes by electromagnetic methods using thorium and plutonium. On the basis of the small amount of data obtained, calutron separation of plutonium isotopes could be performed within the bounds dictated by minimum protection standards. Studies on alpha absorption corrections for various filtering materials were done and out of six media investigated, Whatman filters differed from the others by as much as a factor of two. Also, a relationship between the alpha losses in the filter paper and the linear velocity through the paper was established by varying the air sampling rates. Another study was done on the concentration of beta-emitting decay products on surfaces of uranium castings, and Thorium 234 and Protoactinium 234 were found. Further evidence indicated the surface activity of a fresh casting was roughly proportional to the degree of radioactive equilibrium within the charge material. Efforts to reduce the personnel exposures have been the actual removal of the active surface layer and by external shielding for employees. Studies showed that employees exposed to excessive air-borne concentrations of uranium for periods of time ranging from two to eight years and then reassigned to work areas free of uranium or its compounds, had no significant body damage according to complete physical examinations taken immediately following the reassignment.

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