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Health Phys. 2010 Oct;99(4):517-22. doi: 10.1097/HP.0b013e3181cd3d47.

Integration of uncertainties into internal contamination monitoring.

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  • 1IRSN-Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety, Internal Dosimetry Department, IRSN/DRPH/SDI, B.P. 17, F-92262 Fontenay-aux-Roses Cedex, France.


Potential internal contaminations of workers are monitored by periodic bioassays interpreted in terms of intake and committed effective dose through biokinetic and dosimetric models. After a prospective evaluation of exposure at a workplace, a suitable monitoring program can be defined by the choice of measurement techniques and frequency of measurements. However, the actual conditions of exposure are usually not well defined and the measurements are subject to errors. In this study we took into consideration the uncertainties associated with a routine monitoring program in order to evaluate the minimum intake and dose detectable for a given level of confidence. Major sources of uncertainty are the contamination time, the size distribution and absorption into blood of the incorporated particles, and the measurement errors. Different assumptions may be applied to model uncertain knowledge, which lead to different statistical approaches. The available information is modeled here by classical or Bayesian probability distributions. These techniques are implemented in the OPSCI software under development. This methodology was applied to the monitoring program of workers in charge of plutonium purification at the AREVA NC reprocessing facility (La Hague, France). A sensitivity analysis was carried out to determine the important parameters for the minimum detectable dose. The methods presented here may be used for assessment of any other routine monitoring program through the comparison of the minimum detectable dose for a given confidence level with dose constraints.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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