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Health Phys. 2012 May;102(5):535-41. doi: 10.1097/HP.0b013e31824c9594.

Impact of the Fukushima nuclear accident on background radiation doses measured by control dosimeters in Japan.

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Naval Dosimetry Center, Bethesda, MD 20889, USA.


After the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent massive tsunami on 11 March 2011 in Japan, several reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant suffered severe damage. There was immediate participation of U.S. Navy vessels and other United States Department of Defense (DoD) teams that were already in the area at the time of the disaster or arrived shortly thereafter. The correct determination of occupational dose equivalent requires estimation of the background dose component measured by control dosimeters, which is subsequently subtracted from the total dose equivalent measured by personal dosimeters. The purpose of the control dosimeters is to determine the amount of radiation dose equivalent that has accumulated on the dosimeter from background or other non-occupational sources while they are in transit or being stored. Given the release of radioactive material and potential exposure to radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and the process by which the U.S. Navy calculates occupational exposure to ionizing radiation, analysis of pre- and post-event control dosimeters is warranted. Several hundred historical dose records from the Naval Dosimetry Center (NDC) database were analyzed and compared with the post-accident dose equivalent data of control dosimeters. As result, it was shown that the dose contribution of the radiation and released radiological materials from the Fukushima nuclear accident to background radiation doses is less than 0.375 ╬╝Sv d for shallow and deep photon dose equivalent. There is no measurable effect on neutron background exposure. The latter has at least two important conclusions. First, the NDC can use doses measured by control dosimeters at issuing sites in Japan for determination of personnel dose equivalents; second, the dose data from control dosimeters prior to and after the Fukushima accident may be used to assist in dose reconstruction of non-radiological (non-badged) personnel at these locations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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