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Title: Assessment of personal airborne exposures and surface contamination from x-ray vaporization of beryllium targets at the National Ignition Facility

Here, this article presents air and surface sampling data collected over the first two years since beryllium was introduced as a target material at the National Ignition Facility. Over this time, 101 experiments with beryllium-containing targets were executed. The data provides an assessment of current conditions in the facility and a baseline for future impacts as new, reduced regulatory limits for beryllium are being proposed by both the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Department of Energy. This study also investigates how beryllium deposits onto exposed surfaces as a result of x-ray vaporization and the effectiveness of simple decontamination measures in reducing the amount of removable beryllium from a surface. Based on 1,961 surface wipe samples collected from entrant components (equipment directly exposed to target debris) and their surrounding work areas during routine reconfiguration activities, only one result was above the beryllium release limit of 0.2 µg/100 cm 2 and 27 results were above the analytical reporting limit of 0.01 µg/100 cm 2, for a beryllium detection rate of 1.4%. Surface wipe samples collected from the internal walls of the NIF target chamber, however, showed higher levels of beryllium, with beryllium detected on 73% and 87% of the samples duringmore » the first and second target chamber entries (performed annually), respectively, with 23% of the samples above the beryllium release limit during the second target chamber entry. The analysis of a target chamber wall panel exposed during the first 30 beryllium-containing experiments (cumulatively) indicated that 87% of the beryllium contamination remains fixed onto the surface after wet wiping the surface and 92% of the non-fixed contamination was removed by decontaminating the surface using a dry wipe followed by a wet wipe. Personal airborne exposures assessed during access to entrant components and during target chamber entry indicated that airborne beryllium was not present in workers' breathing zones. Finally, all the data thus far have shown that beryllium has been effectively managed to prevent exposures to workers during routine and non-routine work.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [2]
  1. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States). ES&H Directorate
  2. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States). National Ignition Facility
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1545-9624
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 14; Journal Issue: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 1545-9624
Taylor and Francis
Research Org:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Beryllium; decontamination wiping; exposure assessment; National Ignition Facility; x-ray vaporization; surface contamination
OSTI Identifier: