The current focus on networking and mutual assistance in the management of radiation accidents or incidents has demonstrated the importance of a joined-up approach in physical and biological dosimetry. To this end, the European Radiation Dosimetry Working Group 10 on 'Retrospective Dosimetry' has been set up by individuals from a wide range of disciplines across Europe. Here, established and emerging dosimetry methods are reviewed, which can be used immediately and retrospectively following external ionising radiation exposure. Endpoints and assays include dicentrics, translocations, premature chromosome condensation, micronuclei, somatic mutations, gene expression, electron paramagnetic resonance, thermoluminescence, optically stimulated luminescence, neutron activation, haematology, protein biomarkers and analytical dose reconstruction. Individual characteristics of these techniques, their limitations and potential for further development are reviewed, and their usefulness in specific exposure scenarios is discussed. Whilst no single technique fulfils the criteria of an ideal dosemeter, an integrated approach using multiple techniques tailored to the exposure scenario can cover most requirements.
The cumulative absorbed dose in bricks collected from six buildings in two heavily contaminated settlements (137Cs > 2,000 kBq m(-2)) located downwind of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant was determined using luminescence techniques by six laboratories. The settlements, Vesnianoje in Ukraine and Zaborie in Russia, are located in, respectively, proximal and distal locations relative to the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. The luminescence determinations of cumulative dose in brick, after subtraction of the natural background dose, were translated to absorbed dose in air at a Reference Location using conversion factors derived from Monte Carlo simulations of photon transport. The simulations employed source distributions inferred from contemporary soil contamination data and also took into account heterogeneity of fallout deposition. This translation enables the luminescence determinations to be compared directly with values of cumulative absorbed dose obtained by computational modeling and also other dose reconstruction methods. For each sampled location the cumulative dose was calculated using three deterministic models, two of which are based on the attenuation of dose-rate with migration of radionuclides in soil and the third on historic instrumental gamma dose-rate data. The results of the comparison of the two methods indicate overall agreement within margins of +/-25%. The methodology developed is generally applicable and adaptable to areas contaminated by much lower levels of radioactive fallout in which brick buildings are found.
Biological and physical retrospective dosimetry are recognised as key techniques to provide individual estimates of dose following unplanned exposures to ionising radiation. Whilst there has been a relatively large amount of recent development in the biological and physical procedures, development of statistical analysis techniques has failed to keep pace. The aim of this paper is to review the current state of the art in uncertainty analysis techniques across the 'EURADOS Working Group 10-Retrospective dosimetry' members, to give concrete examples of implementation of the techniques recommended in the international standards, and to further promote the use of Monte Carlo techniques to support characterisation of uncertainties. It is concluded that sufficient techniques are available and in use by most laboratories for acute, whole body exposures to highly penetrating radiation, but further work will be required to ensure that statistical analysis is always wholly sufficient for the more complex exposure scenarios.
The cumulative absorbed dose in fired-clay bricks collected from ten buildings in the populated contaminated settlement (137Cs, 1,470 kBq m(-2)) of Stary Vishkov, located 175 km downwind of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in the Bryansk administrative region of Russia, was determined using luminescence techniques by five laboratories. At each location, the cumulative dose, after subtraction of the natural background dose, was translated to absorbed dose in air using conversion factors derived from Monte Carlo simulations. The simulations employed source distributions inferred from contemporary soil contamination data and also took into account heterogeneity of fallout deposition. At four locations the cumulative dose at a reference location was calculated, enabling the luminescence determinations to be compared directly with values of cumulative absorbed dose in air obtained using deterministic models. A "local" conversion factor was also derived from the Monte Carlo simulations for locations where the disturbance of soil was significant. Values of the "local" cumulative dose in air calculated using this factor were compared with those predicted using the deterministic models at each sampled location, allowing location factors to be calculated. The methodology developed is generally applicable to populated areas contaminated by radioactive fallout in which brick buildings are found. The sensitivity of the luminescence techniques for bricks from this region of Russia was sufficient to evaluate cumulative absorbed dose in brick due to fallout of less than 20 mGy.
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