Document Details

Health and Safety Division Annual Report, 1961
Subject Terms:
Health and Safety Division; annual report, health physics; ecology, hazards, SL-1; environmental monitoring
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:
Health, Safety and Environment\Environmental Effects; Reactors\Research and Test Reactors and Small Experimental Piles; Specific Material\Fission Products
Document Type:
Publication Date:
1961 Dec 31
Declassification Status:
Never classified
Document Pages:
Accession Number:
Document Number(s):
IDO-12021, TID-4500; 17th edition; 17thedition
Originating Research Org.:
Atomic Energy Commission-Idaho Operations Office
OpenNet Entry Date:
1998 Jun 16
This document contains the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, Idaho Operations Office, Health and Safety Division Annual Report for 1961. At the SL-1 Reactor accident early in 1961 health physicists encountered many "firsts" in health physics operations and management. The Medical Services Branch's work was influenced by several factors which resulted in minor alterations in previous statistical trends. The SL-1 Reactor accident experience resulted in a number of major lessons which should be incorporated in the medical emergency plans, equipment and facilities in the atomic energy industry. The radiation exposure experience at the National Reactor Testing Station (NRTS) during 1961 was the highest in its history due to the exposures received during the SL-1 operations. The whole-body counting program and the application of high-speed electronic computers to automatic data handling showed the largest relative advancement of any activity. The Hazards Control Branch entered into the initial emergency response to the SL-1 accident and numerous aspects of assistance and collection of pertinent data in follow-up support; procedures and equipment were re-evaluated from the SL-1 experience. The accident had a major impact on the activities of the Site Survey Branch during the entire year, and one consequence was the increased emphasis on the importance of disaster planning. The increase in amount of solid waste, which was about 16 times the 1960 level, was attributed primarily to disposal of the GE-ANP in-pile loop from the Engineering Test Reactor (ETR) which was about 100,000 curies. Elevated tritium concentrations were observed in several of the site production wells and many of the on-site observation wells. Jackrabbit thyroid Iodine-131 and bone Strontium-90 were used as biological indicators of environmental contamination levels. The concentrations of Strontium-90 in the bones of young-of-the-year rabbits was the best indicator of the Strontium-90 contamination level in 1961. Significant levels of Iodine-131 were detected during and shortly after the Russian weapons tests and the SL-1 accident. Several accidental releases were discussed, principally with respect to the meteorological evaluation of radiation field data. The activities of the Instrument and Development Branch resulted in an increase in many areas of service to the AEC and its operating contractors. Figures and tables are included in this report.

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