"Preliminary Dose Assessment for Emergency Response Exercise at Disaster City Using Unsealed Radioactive Contamination,"
M.S. Thesis, Nuclear Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX (2016).
The Department of Nuclear Engineering at Texas A&M
University currently supports emergency response exercises at
Disaster City, a mock community used for emergency response
training that features full-scale, collapsible structures designed
to simulate various levels of disaster and wreckage. Several times
a year, sealed radioactive sources are used at Disaster City to
create radiation fields in which emergency responders can become
more familiar with dose rates and how to use their radiation
detection equipment. This research seeks to enhance emergency
response exercises by using unsealed radioactive sources to
simulate a more realistic response environment following an
incident involving the dispersion of radioactive material.
Limited exercises are performed worldwide using unsealed
radioactive sources, and most of that information is not
published. This work compiles that information and presents the
process for selection of a short-lived radionuclide for use at
Disaster City. Historically-used radionuclides were considered, as
well as other short-lived isotopes commonly utilized or
capable of being produced at Texas A&M. A preliminary dose
assessment for the exercise was performed based on
conservative calculation methods used in assessments for unsealed
contamination exercises performed at other sites. The
selection process identified seven radionuclides that could be used
for an unsealed contamination exercise at Disaster City. It
was determined from the dose assessment that a
radionuclide-dependent range of 1-40 mCi can be used
to achieve detectable dose rates during the exercise without
exceeding assumed administrative dose limits. The choice of
which radionuclide and what activity to use should be made
based on budget and the logistics of the actual exercise.
Associated Project(s):Preliminary Dose Assessment for Emergency Response Exercise at Disater City