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Guide Nuclear Fallout from the Nevada Test Site 1951-1970 in Illinois

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Manuscript Collections - Harold Royce Gross Papers

Although a comprehensive survey of radio- activity has not yet been done, limited data is available from the U. An effort was made to collect radiological data, when available, for each of these effluent pathways. Although gamma ana- lyses of the ore bodies themselves show only approximate background radiation levels, ele- vated levels of uranium and decay products are evident in sampling of ore, copper leachate solutions and mine runoff water.

Radon measurements conducted by the Mining Enforcement and Safety Administration MESA in underground copper mines have also been significantly above background levels, ex- ceeding 0. For mine pumpout water, average radium con- centrations ranging from 1.

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Other than a potential occupational exposure impact, the study concludes that there is no evidence at present that the copper industry con- stitutes a radiological public health hazard. Fur- ther field work is recommended, however, to quantify concentrations of uranium in mining and milling effluents more accurately, and to charac- terize occupational exposures in the industry. The Regulation restricts the levels of natural and man-made radionuclides in community water systems, effective June 24, This regulation was in addition to previous Interim Regulations15 on microbiological, chemi- cal and physical contaminants.

For alpha contaminants, the Regulations pro- vide that initial compliance sampling will begin within two years of the effective date, and will be completed within an additional year. Thereafter, monitoring shall be conducted not less than once every four years. Cross alpha particle activity measurements are used as a screen to determine the need for specific radium isotopic analyses.

If the gross alpha particle activity exceeds a certain level five picocuries per liter , analysis for radium is required, and for radium if the radium activity exceeds three picocuries per liter. Systems serving more than , persons from surface water supplies, and any other sys- tems designated by the State, are required to analyze for gross beta activity and for tritium and strontium, within two years of the effective date, and at four year intervals thereafter.

Analy- sis for iodine may be required by the State if the supply is contaminated by effluents from nuclear facilities. Environmental surveillance data from nuclear facility monitoring programs may be accepted by the State in lieu of direct monitoring of the water supply. All measurements must be made by laboratories approved by the enforcing authority.

Generally, States will have primary enforcement responsibility unless they do not request or achieve it, in which case it would rest with EPA. Studies Radium Removal Process Numerous well-water supplies for public water systems contain naturally-occurring radium Methods for removing radium from drinking water must be identified so that treatment plants may meet the limit set in the EPA drinking water regulations.

Nevada Test Site

Studies were performed by State agencies at 14 cities in Iowa and Illinois to deter- mine the radium removal efficiency of four water treatment processes. Present data indicate that one-third to one-half of all ground water supplies could have radon concentrations greater than picocuries pCi per liter. When this water-is used in a home, especially with increased temperature and agita- tion, much of the radon could diffuse into the air.

Various literature articles were reviewed for relevant information.


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The tailings were incorpo- rated in either the fill, building material, or con- crete. Because the radon daughter activity levels in many of the structures exceed the Surgeon General's guide, ERDA and the State of Colorado are conducting a remedial action program to reduce them. Questions have been raised concerning the use of phosphate slag material in concrete blocks and pavement in Florida, Ohio, Idaho and a few other States.

By-product gypsum is of special concern; it is commonly used in the manufacture of wall- board in other countries, although it has not been used commercially in the U. Insulation is another potential difficulty. The initial purposes. The study concluded that naturally-occurring radionuclides in building materials are a source of external and internal radiation exposure to virtu- ally the entire U. The dose equiva- lent rate in a given situation is a complex function of the geometric distribution of radionuclides within a building, the air exchange rate, and the time utilization factor for each room.

A comput- erized model, written in Fortran IV, has been developed for calculating dose equivalent rates, both for external and internal sources, to occu- pants in a building for a variety of assumed conditions. Public comment was invited on applying this recommendation to other caves and caverns. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, U. Department of the Interior Geological Survey, and U. Further information will be available in Eadie, G. Atomic Energy Commission October E April 30, Jaworowski, A. Swanson, V. Martin, J.

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Gesell, T. O'Connell, M. EPA: 40 F. Below are publication numbers for relevant items cited in Appendix B. Introduction and Summary Medical exposure to ionizing radiation can and should be significantly cut without reducing qual- ity of care, according to experts in the scientific community. As matters stand, over half of the U. Analysis of data from this program indicates that the weighted mean expo- sure for nine of the 12 radiographic projections surveyed increased between and The population increased only seven percent during this period.

The Committee further ex- pressed the view that "medical radiation expo- sure can and should be reduced considerably by limiting its use to clinically indicated procedures utilizing efficient exposure techniques and opti- mal operation of radiation equipment. Consideration should be given to the following: 1. Restriction of the use of radiation for public health survey purposes, unless there is a reasonable probability of significant detec- tion of disease.

Inspection and licensing of radiation and ancillary equipment. Appropriate training and certification of involved personnel.

Nevada Test Site Downwinders | Atomic Heritage Foundation

Gonad shielding es- pecially shielding the testes is strongly recommended as a simple and highly effi- cient way to reduce the Genetically Signifi- cant Dose. It ap- pears that half of these, or , would be due to poor radiological practice. Summary This chapter describes efforts by a number of Federal agencies to address the issue of unneces- sary exposure in both x-ray procedures and nu- clear medicine treatments.

Research was conducted on long-term radiation effects and childhood cancers. A final voluntary recommendation endorsed the concept of appropriate use of specific area gonad shielding during diagnostic x-ray exams. BRH published a technical overview of clinical methods of avoiding medical x-ray exposure of the human embryo and fetus, as an intermediate step in formulating a voluntary recommendation.

BRH is consulting with other health agencies and professional groups to develop a joint statement or guideline. An Interagency Working Group formed by EPA issued its final report on reducing unneces- sary radiation exposure from x-rays in Federal health care facilities. Many educational programs were undertaken, including expansion of the services of the Radio- logical Health Sciences Learning Laboratory and extension of a series of training packages for radiologic technologists.

Corrective action programs covered both medical and dental x-ray units, and included assessment of quality control and testing programs. BRH contracted with 18 States for compliance inspections of medical x-ray equipment as part of the Bureau's enforcement program under the Federal performance standard for x-ray equipment.

One accident is discussed, in which about patients taking cobalt teletherapy treatment received doses over the prescribed amounts. The Task Force on Short-Lived Radionuclides for Medical Use reviewed preliminary reports on modifying radioiodine policies, and on the conse- quences of several alternatives. Another Task Force, on the public health impact of nuclear medicine practice, began reviewing existing data sources and evaluating their potential contribu- tion to developing reliable estimates on practices and trends.

Visualizing Nuclear Weapons Testing at the Nevada Test Site

Compliance action was taken in several cases. Research on panoramic dental units showed substantial variation in internal exposures to pa- tients, although all were low. The latest concepts of internal dosimetry were discussed at a BRH sponsored symposium, and a contract was awarded to develop quality assur- ance workshops. A panel of scientists and technical experts was convened to review BRH's research efforts on ultrasound bioeffects and measurements.

Major Congressional and Judicial Activities Congressional activity was confined to consid- eration of the Senate version of the Health Profes- sionals Educational Assistance Act of , which would have provided for the training and licensing of radiologic technicians.

However, the Conference Committee adopted the House version of the Act instead, and it had no similar provision. Following a pretrial hearing, Sheppard decided to sign the consent decree rather than contest the case in court, and agreed to comply with the regulations in future. The original version8 stipulated that the product manufacturer would be required: 1 to apply for the exemption, and 2 to demonstrate both the need for it and the extent to which the product could meet the criteria set forth in the applicable standards.