11.2 RADIOLOGICAL EMERGENCY SITUATIONS
Working in a radiological environment requires more precautionary measures
than performing the same job in a non-radiological setting. This premise is
especially true if an emergency arises during radiological work.
Radiological emergencies include improper status indicator or change of
status indicator on Run/Safe Box, fire in a Radiological Area, high
radiation exposure to personnel, injury or loss of life in a Radiological
Area, and damage, abuse, or loss of radioactive material or sources.
Responsibility for dealing with an emergency initially rests with the person
discovering it. Your responsibility regarding discovery of a radiological
- Taking appropriate action to protect life, then property, then the
- Warning others in the area of the situation and minimizing your own radiation exposure.
- Making the appropriate notifications as given below.
11.2.1 Accelerator Emergency
In the event of a radiological emergency which results from accelerator
operations, the Crew Chief should be notified at the Machine Control Center
(MCC), phone number 7044, 7055, or cellular phone at 804-879-3367. The
Accelerator Crew Chief has overall responsibility for safety and coordinating
emergency response on the accelerator site.
The following steps should be taken in the event of a potential "beam on"
- Stop work or activity in the location of the suspected accident. If in
the accelerator tunnel, press the Red Emergency Stop Button on the nearest
Run/Safe Box. Make a mental note of your location and exit the area
immediately. Warn any others in the area of the situation.
- Seek immediate medical attention for any injured individual - dial 911
and request assistance. An injured individual who is not conscious or
ambulatory should only be moved by medical personnel. Provide any
information you know regarding radiological conditions to the emergency
- Report to the Crew Chief at the MCC and explain what occurred and any
actions you've taken. Follow the instructions of the Crew Chief carefully.
- The Crew Chief may request that an ARM be allowed to perform a radiation
survey on your person or may request that you allow a survey of certain
articles from your person. Compliance with the Crew Chief will provide
important information regarding potential radiation exposure.
- If uninjured, remain at the location designated by the Crew Chief until
the Radiation Control Group Staff makes a determination of the extent of
11.2.2 Non-Accelerator Emergency
In the event of a radiological emergency involving spills or loss of
radioactive material, potential excessive or unmonitored personnel exposure,
or spread of contamination to personnel or uncontrolled areas, the Radiation
Control Group (RCG) should be notified.
All security guard posts, the MCC, and the Experimental Hall Counting House
have up-to-date emergency call-out lists which can be used to contact the RCG.
The inside front cover of the TJNAF telephone directory contains phone
numbers of EH&S staff including radiation protection personnel. The RCG
also maintains a cellular duty phone - 879-1617.
In the event of a spill or other loss of control of radioactive material,
remember the acronym SWIM'N.
S - Stop the spill - for example upright an overturned container that
is causing a spill.
W - Warn others - make sure other people in the area know what has
I - Isolate the area - close the doors or use convenient items to form
M - Minimize your exposure - once you have taken initial steps, move
away from the area.
N - Notify Radiological Control personnel - await RCG personnel at a
11.2.3 Calling 911
The 911 emergency number can be reached from any TJNAF phone - there is no
need to dial 9 for outside access.
Call 911 to report radiological emergencies only when:
- There are, or could be injuries involved
- There is a fire
- Emergency rescue or other similar aid is required
11.2.4 Considerations in Rescue and Recovery Operations
If emergency personnel require access to the accelerator enclosure, it is
important that their entry not be delayed. The normal administrative
controls that we follow daily are not applicable to emergency situations.
For example, if firefighters need access to the enclosure, the beam would be
terminated and the accelerator would be placed in a safe condition. At this
point, the firefighters would be allowed access. Entry for short periods
under these conditions is not expected to result in significant radiation
exposure. It is very unlikely that any emergency responder could receive a
dose that approaches the TJNAF design goal for Radiation Workers during an
emergency entry. Radiological conditions can be determined following the
emergency entry in order to calculate doses to the emergency responders.
11.2.5 Emergency Exposure Guidelines
Planned Special Exposures (PSE)
In some cases where a planned event is anticipated to cause personnel to
exceed the routine dose limit of 5 rem, and other options are not practicable,
a Planned Special Exposure may be necessary. These events are not
considered emergencies but are unusual and are not expected to be repeated.
The total dose to an individual under these circumstances must not exceed 10
rem, including all other exposure received for the year.
Lifesaving and Rescue Operations
In extremely rare cases, emergency exposure to high levels of radiation may
be necessary to mitigate injury, death or major property damage. These
operations will be guided by an emergency response director. Careful
judgement must be used during such situations of substantial personnel risk.
The DOE emergency guidelines for such personnel, when the lower dose
limit of 5 rem is not practicable, are as follows:
- Protecting major property - 10 rem
- Lifesaving or protection of large populations - 25 rem - or greater
than 25 rem when:
- only volunteers are used
- risks are thoroughly assessed
- personnel are fully briefed on magnitude of risk