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Nuclear accident dosimetry studies at Los Alamos National Laboratory

By W.H. Casson, T.E. Buhl and D.L. Upp

Abstract

Two critical assemblies have been characterized at the Los Alamos Critical Experiments Facility (LACEF) for use in testing nuclear accident dosimeters and related devices. These device, Godiva IV and SHEBA II, have very different characteristics in both operation and emitted neutron energy spectra. The Godiva assembly is a bare metal fast burst device with a hard spectrum. This spectrum can be modified by use of several shields including steel, concrete, and plexiglas. The modified spectra vary in both average neutron energy and in the specific distribution of the neutron energies in the intermediate energy range. This makes for a very favorable test arrangement as the response ratios between different activation foils used in accident dosimeters are significantly altered such as the ratio between gold, copper, and sulfur elements. The SHEBA device is a solution assembly which has both a slow ramp and decay period and a much softer spectrum. The uncertainly introduced in the response of fast decay foils such as indium can therefore be evaluated into the test results. The neutron energy spectrum for each configuration was measured during low power operations with a multisphere system. These measurements were extended to high dose pulsed operation by use of TLDs moderated TLDs, and special activation techniques. The assemblies were used in the testing of several accident dosimetry devices in studies modeled after the Nuclear Accident Dosimetry Studies that were conducted at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for about 25 years using the Health Physics Research Reactor. It is our intention to conduct these studies approximately annually for the evaluation of the nuclear accident dosimeter systems currently in use within the DOE, alternative systems used internationally, and new dosimeter designs being developed or considered for field application. Participation in selected studies will be open to all participants

Topics: Testing, Radiation Accidents, 05 Nuclear Fuels, Dosemeters, Dosimetry, Los Alamos, Evaluation
Publisher: Los Alamos National Laboratory
Year: 1995
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Provided by: UNT Digital Library
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