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J Radiol Prot. 2013 Mar;33(1):213-26. doi: 10.1088/0952-4746/33/1/213. Epub 2013 Jan 16.

Effective dose in the manufacturing process of rutile covered welding electrodes.

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  • 1Departamento de Ingeniería Nuclear y Mecánica de Fluidos, ETSI de Bilbao, Universidad del País Vasco UPV/EHU, Alda. Urquijo s/n, 48013 Bilbao, Spain.


Shielded metal arc welding using covered electrodes is the most common welding process. Sometimes the covering contains naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORMs). In Spain the most used electrodes are those covered with rutile mixed with other materials. Rutile contains some detectable natural radionuclides, so it can be considered a NORM. This paper mainly focuses on the use of MCNP (Monte Carlo N-Particle Transport Code) as a predictive tool to obtain doses in a factory which produces this type of electrode and assess the radiological impact in a specific facility after estimating the internal dose.To do this, in the facility, areas of highest radiation and positions of workers were identified, radioactive content of rutile and rutile covered electrodes was measured, and, considering a worst possible scenario, external dose at working points has been calculated using MCNP. This procedure has been validated comparing the results obtained with those from a pressurised ionisation chamber and TLD dosimeters. The internal dose has been calculated using DCAL (dose and risk calculation). The doses range between 8.8 and 394 μSv yr(-1), always lower than the effective dose limit for the public, 1 mSv yr(-1). The highest dose corresponds to the mixing area.

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