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NSLS ESH Highlight #2

NSLS ALARA Program

Date: March 15, 1995 (Rev. 7/26/99)
Editor: W. Thomlinson, R. Casey

The NSLS has had an ALARA Committee for a number of years. This committee is charged with reviewing radiation exposures and ensuring that all reasonable measures are taken to reduce radiation levels in work areas to As Low As Reasonably Achievable -- ALARA. Detailed minutes of the ALARA meetings are kept so that staff or outside personnel can easily become aware of the topics and content of our discussions. Contact Bob Casey if you are interested in the topics of the ALARA Committee.

Among the topics of discussion and action that the Committee have addressed include:

1. PROCEDURES: We have examined operational procedures designed to reduce potential exposure of staff to radiation produced by machine operations. Heightened awareness of the need to reduce unnecessary booster and injector operations is helping to reduce levels. Rigid conformation to the existing guidelines for operations is being achieved by the control room and operations staff. This is an on-going effort as the ring conditions and user demands change.

2. PASSIVE SHIELDING: Upgrade of Passive Shielding to reduce all levels in occupied areas of the NSLS facility has been of the highest concern. This has involved a major, long-term program of gamma and neutron exposure monitoring. It has been necessary to quantify the neutron spectrum at NSLS, iron out the details of rather complex intercomparisons of various instrumental results and calibrate neutron to gamma doses for the detectors. All of this has been done along with real time increases in shielding in the booster area and in places around the UVV ring. These efforts have lead to significant reductions in exposure levels, particularly in offices affected by the booster operations.

One of the biggest problems has been to reduce levels in offices above the VUV storage ring experimental hall. Shielding has been installed in a number of locations on the VUV floor, and significant reduction radiation exposures in the second floor offices has been achieved. Additional shielding is planned in the period 1999-2000 before the long-term shielding improvements will be completed.

3. BNL Standards : A major revision to the BNL Radiological Control Manual was completed in the spring, 1999. NSLS will have to review the new requirements and determine where changes in current practices are needed.

ALARA Committee Membership List

  • A. Ackerman
  • J. Aloi
  • R. Casey - Chairman
  • T. Dickinson
  • N. Gmur
  • R. Heese
  • C.C. Kao
  • C. Weilandics
  • M. Woodle
ELEVATOR ALARMS --- PAY ATTENTION!!!

The lobby elevator has occasionally experienced failure resulting in the elevator stopping between floors. Usually this problem is readily addressed, but that has been at least one occasion where a BNL employee was trapped between floors for an extended period of time. A person trapped within the elevator should not be afraid – there is an emergency phone to contact BNL Police and an elevator alarm within the elevator. If you are trapped within the elevator, use the telephone and sound the alarm, and be patient, help will be on the way.

Of equal importance, if you are near the elevator and hear the alarm – pay attention. We had one incident several years ago where the emergency phone system failed and people ignored the elevator alarm. It was evident during the period that the person was trapped that several persons were close, and others passed the elevator, without paying any attention to the alarm. Fortunately an operations coordinator eventually walked by and he responded. It is not clear why such an alarm was ignored by others, perhaps it is the fact that our elevators are always "dinging" and making bell like sounds (when they are functional), and if they are being held on a floor for loading, they make a loud noise.

Being trapped in the elevator can be unsettling and could be a serious situation. It is important for NSLS staff and visitors to pay attention to the elevator "noises" and determine if a loud alarm is or is not a serious situation. If in doubt, contact the NSLS safety personnel or call BNL Security at X 2222. Such a response will ease the concern of the any person trapped in our building.