Radioactive Contamination of Ventilation Supply System, USS CRITTENDEN, from Baker Explosion Operation Crossroads.
NAVAL RADIOLOGICAL DEFENSE LAB SAN FRANCISCO CA
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Dust in the ventillation system of the after engine room of the USS CRITTENDEN was contaminated by the base surge from the Baker explosion at Operation CROSSROADS. Although all ventilation system openings on target ships were sealed prior to the Baker explosion, there was damage to the cover on the system for the after engine room of the USS CRITTENDEN. The damage to the cover consisted of an opening approximately six square inches in area. The dust in the contaminated ventilation system was recovered and the amount and composition of the radioactive constituents were measured. The radioactive contamination as a funciton of particle size of the dust was also determined. One and one half years after the Baker explosion, fission products equivalent to 115 microcuries of radioactivity were recovered from the dust. It was calculated from radiochemical analysis and fission product decay schemes that approximately 370 curies entered the ventilation system from the base surge. The corresponding alpha activity was 0.43 microcurie. It was also found that 18 per cent of the dust by weight was of respirable particle sizes less than five microns and that it carried about 160 curies of the total radioactivity.