Type: Best Practice
Publisher: Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Falls, ID
Topics: Radiation Protection
A leak test of an "Exempt" Carbon 14 source prior to shipping offsite for use in a demonstration involving local high school students showed the source to be leaking. No contamination was found beyond the source and the source container. The discovery was due to recent procedure changes by INL Radiological Control in response to a Level 3 Operating Experience report issued by DOE HSS based on events at BNL and PNNL in 2012. The OE-3 recommended testing sealed radioactive sources with unknown pedigree. INL Radiological Control performed an extent of conditions assessment of all sealed radioactive sources at INL based on the criteria described in the OE-3. The assessment identified several similar conditions associated with the OE-3 for which corrective actions were implemented.
What Can We Learn:
Responding positively and appropriately to DOE operating experience prevented a leaking exempt C-14 source from leaving the INL, thereby avoiding the likely potential for off-site spread of contamination, as well as the potential for a negative affect on the publics perception of the Laboratorys ability to control radioactive materials.
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