A Continuous Air Monitor for Stable Tritiated Particulates - Proof-of-Principle Test Measurements


R. P. Radev, R. S. Hafner


Stable Tritiated Particulates (STPs) are defined as finely divided particulates, which contain tritium, but which do not readily release the tritium when exposed to air or aqueous solutions. Tritium is not released because it is very tightly bound to the matrix of the parent material. As a consequence, STPs are very stable in air and/or aqueous solutions. STPs can often be found in older facilities that have been used to process significant quantities of tritium. More importantly, as finely divided particulates, STPs can easily be spread by day-to-day workplace activities and have the potential for suspension as airborne particulate contamination. The potential for suspension of STPs in air involves requirements for monitoring the air for suspended particulate contamination originating from work activities. STPs, however, cannot be monitored for in workplace air as easily as the more conventional forms of tritium, i.e., HT and/or HTO, suing ionization chamber types of monitors, or with "after-the-fact," liquid scintillation techniques. As a result, there are no effective continuous air monitors (CAMs) for any form of STPs, due mainly to the complexity of their monitoring and evaluation. Therefore, real-time, or near-time, monitoring for STPs in workplace air represents a major potential challenge.


This abstract was presented at the 34th Annual Midyear Meeting, "Radiation Safety and ALARA Considerations for the 21st Century", Other/Power Reactor Innovations Session, 2/4/2001 - 2/7/2001, held in Anaheim, CA.

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