Experimental shielding evaluation of the radiation protection provided by residential structures Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/kw52jb49f

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  • The human health and environmental effects following a postulated accidental release of radioactive material to the environment has been a public and regulatory concern since the early development of nuclear technology and researched extensively to better understand the potential risks for accident mitigation and emergency planning purposes. The objective of this investigation is to research and develop the technical basis for contemporary building shielding factors for the U.S. housing stock. Building shielding factors quantify the protection a certain building-type provides from ionizing radiation. Much of the current data used to determine the quality of shielding around nuclear facilities and urban environments is based on simplistic point-kernel calculations for 1950’s era suburbia and is no longer applicable to the densely populated urban environments seen today. To analyze a building’s radiation shielding properties, the ideal approach would be to subject a variety of building-types to various radioactive materials and measure the radiation levels in and around the building. While this is not entirely practicable, this research uniquely analyzes the shielding effectiveness of a variety of likely U.S. residential buildings from a realistic source term in a laboratory setting. Results produced in the investigation provide a comparison between theory and experiment behind building shielding factor methodology by applying laboratory measurements to detailed computational models. These models are used to develop a series of validated building shielding factors for generic residential housing units using the computational code MCNP5. For these building shielding factors to be useful in radiologic consequence assessments and emergency response planning, two types of shielding factors have been developed for; (1) the shielding effectiveness of each structure within a semi-infinite cloud of radioactive material, and (2) the shielding effectiveness of each structure from contaminant deposition on the roof and surrounding surfaces. For example, results from this investigation estimate the building shielding factors from a semi-infinite plume between comparable two-story models with a basement constructed with either brick-and-mortar or vinyl siding composing the exterior wall weather and a typical single-wide manufactured home with vinyl siding to be 0.36, 0.65, and 0.82 respectively.
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