Our basic plan of radiation monitoring of water and air effluents from the
reactor building and of general radiation level at selected points on the campus
consists of two parts :
To date we have had little necessity of supplementing our continuous monitoring
records with spot sampling. No radioactivity (indeed, no off-gas at all) from the
reactor is discharged into the stack exhaust by our present method of operation. No
hazards of radioactive wastes from the laboratories have been encountered, for the
sinks have been only recently installed. Our measurements of cooling water at present
levels of operation have shown negligible radioactivity. Nevertheless, though little
effort has been devoted to spot checking, our continuously operating monitors have
been maintained in steady operation except for times when maintenance and repairs of
various instruments have been necessary.
(To date, incidentally, no evidence of above normal
radiation has been found in campus, stock or waste water monitoring).
We have now, however, reached the point where it will soon become advisable to
supplement our monitoring system with intermittent grab-sampling. There will shortly
be water effluent from the reactor building laboratories. Recheck of the effluent
cooling water should be made as we prepare for higher power levels.
It appears that no early releases of fission gases will be necessary for some
time in the future, since their rate of accumulation is so low, yet experimental
operations now being planned could occasionally result in small discharges into the
stack. Hence we should be more alert at all points.
Will you consider this problem, as a member of the reactor team, and give me
your preliminary ideas of plans whereby these intermittent samples might be handled
on a routine basis, the equipment necessary, the frequency recommended, etc.