Uranium dust concentration measured in a conversion plant by aerosol sampling and application for dose calculation
B. Gibert, B. Le Guen and P. Bérard
Radiat. Prot. Dosim. 1998, 79(1-4), pp 77-81
WORKSHOP ON INTAKES OF RADIONUCLIDES: Occupational and Public Exposure - Proceedings of a Workshop held in Avignon, France. September 15-18 1997
COMURHEX is a plant for converting mining concentrates into UF4. The atmosphere in different facilities is monitored daily using aerosol sampling devices (APA) placed in selected locations depending upon the workstations used by the operators. The results, entered every day into a computer program, can be displayed on individual diagrams for each shop. This program allows urinary uranium analyses over a given threshold to be targeted in addition to the systematic analysis performed periodically. In 1996, 23 urinary analyses corresponding to six events exceeding APA guide values were investigated. A direct approximation of systematic contamination from measurement data has recently been described using a deconvolution of individual monitoring results. Uptakes calculated from urine analysis using this method are correlated with the increase of the APA values. This method implies that a specific monitoring protocol is developed by setting up a minimum number of urinary analyses in one year, a maximum interval between two examinations, considering the chemical composition of the components and the urinary level measurements. Internal dosimetry based only on APA values is not sufficient for operational medical monitoring. To reduce the uncertainties in dose calculation, a special program based on bioassay analysis initiated by the APA guide values is better adapted to estimating the internal dose to each worker in the different facilities of the plant.