PERMISSIBLE LEVELS OF SURFACE CONTAMINATION,
ATOMIC ENERGY OF CANADA LTD CHALK RIVER (ONTARIO)
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Surface contamination is undesirable because it gives to radiation hazards. Inhalation hazard is often the determining factor in setting contamination limits however, external radiation could be a greater hazard under some circumstances. The relationship between contamination level and radiation hazard is not precise, because of wide variations in actual conditions. Permissible levels of contamination are based on many arbitrary assumptions. When assessing dangerous levels of contamination, permissible levels should be recalculated using the best information available for all parameters. Potentially dangerous areas should be identified with respect to the maximum degree of danger likely to be met in a contamination accident. There are some important aspects of the contamination problem that have not been considered, such as the relative degree of hazard from inhalation and external radiation under various conditions, and the need for ventilation, filtration and containment after a contamination accident. There are many possibilities for research into such problems.