International Efforts to Secure Orphan Sources


T. D. Eaton, J. B. Martin, K. D. Freier, M. L. Larson, K. A. Wright, C. M. Johnson


Orphan sources are radioactive sources that have less than adequate custodial care. The U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration, Office of Global Threat Reduction has been leading a program to increase security of sources in 27 countries in the states of the former Soviet Union, East Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Health physicists from the national laboratory system are providing radiation safety support to field operation teams in these countries. The mission of the teams is to assess sites that store or use radioactive sources with activities that exceed the program action levels. The team then provides recommendations for security upgrades and works out a funding structure to pay for the upgrades. This paper will describe unusual locations and types of sources found in these countries and the health physics concerns associated with moving and securing the sources, as well as the characterization required to assess the sites. The team health physicist also provides radiological safety for team members who are not normally radiological workers. The paper will also address other health and safety concerns associated with travel to remote foreign locations.


This abstract was presented at the 38th Annual Midyear Meeting, "Materials Control and Security: Risk Assessment, Handling, and Detection", Source Security and Monitoring Programs Session, 2/13/2005 - 2/16/2005, held in New Orleans, LA.

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