Total Occupational Exposure During Characterisation, Conditioning, and Securing of Radioactive Sealed Sources: A New Dosimetric Concept Using Active Electronic Dosimeters
Radiation dosimetry in protection against ionising radiation involves research of all possible pathways through which natural or man-made radioactive materials can contaminate a habitat and actually harm its biota. It also takes into account natural and artificial (man-made) electromagnetic ionizing radiation (γ and x radiation). This article presents a dosimetric study assessing exposure to man-made ionising radiation of local environment and total occupational exposure of two professional workers involved in characterisation, conditioning, and securing of unused radioactive sealed sources. The purpose of the study was to validate a new active electronic dosimeter (AED) of type ALARA OD and to develop a new monitoring method by tracing the external occupational exposure over real time. This method is used to continuously measure and record external radiation doses and, which is a novelty, establish dose rates receiving pattern as a function of real time. Occupational whole body dosimetric results obtained with AED were compared with results obtained with passive dosimetry (film badge and thermoluminiscence). Air, dust, and silicon sand samples were analysed by gamma-spectrometry to estimate internal exposure of the two workers to 222Rn due to inhalation or ingestion of dust and sand in indoor air. In order to establish total occupational exposure, control radon measurement was performed in the immediate environment and the external Hazard index (Hex) was calculated.