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References

Currie, L.A., 1984, Lower Limit of Detection: Definition and Elaboration of a Proposed Position for Radiological Effluent and Environmental Measurements, NUREG/CR-4007, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, D.C., September 1984.

DOE, 2011a, "Radiation Protection of the Public and the Environment," U.S. Department of Energy O 458.1, Administrative Change 3, February 11, 2011.

DOE, 2011b, "Derived Concentration Technical Standard”, Department of Energy Standard 1196-2011, April 2011.

DOE, 2015a, “Environmental Radiological Effluent Monitoring and Environmental Surveillance”, DOE-HDBK-1216-2015, March 2015.

DOE, 2015b, Handbook for the Department of Energy’s Mixed Analyte Performance Evaluation Program (MAPEP), January 2015. Available at: http://www.id.energy.gov/resl/mapep/handbookv15.pdf.

EPA, 2017, RadNet—Tracking Environmental Radiation Nationwide, Web page: https://www.epa.gov/radnet

ICRP, 2009, ICRP Publication 114: Environmental Protection: Transfer Parameters for Reference Animals and Plants, Annals of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), December 2009.

WAI, 2016, Quality Assurance Project Plan for the INL Site Offsite Environmental Surveillance Program, Environmental Surveillance, Education and Research Program, October 2016.

WAI, 2017, Environmental Quality Assurance Report for the 1st Quarter 2017, Environmental Surveillance, Education, and Research Program, September 2017.


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Radiation in Our World

Radiation has always been a part of the natural environment in the form of cosmic radiation, cosmogenic radionuclides [carbon-14 (14C), Beryllium-7 (7Be), and tritium (3H)], and naturally occurring radionuclides, such as potassium-40 (40K), and the thorium, uranium, and actinium series radionuclides which have very long half lives. Additionally, human-made radionuclides were distributed throughout the world beginning in the early 1940s. Atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons from 1945 through 1980 and nuclear power plant accidents, such as the Chernobyl accident in the former Soviet Union during 1986, have resulted in fallout of detectable radionuclides around the world. This natural and manmade global fallout radioactivity is referred to as background radiation. MORE

Radiation Exposure and Dose

The primary concern regarding radioactivity is the amount of energy deposited by particles or gamma radiation to the surrounding environment. It is possible that the energy from radiation may damage living tissue. When radiation interacts with the atoms of a given substance, it can alter the number of electrons associated with those atoms (usually removing orbital electrons). This is called ionization. MORE