Surveillance of the activity concentrations of airborne radioactive substances in the workplace of nuclear facilities (ISO 16639:2017)

ISO 16639:2017 provides best practices and performance-based criteria for the use of air sampling devices and systems, including retrospective samplers and continuous air monitors. Specifically, this document covers air sampling program objectives, design of air sampling and monitoring programs to meet program objectives, methods for air sampling and monitoring in the workplace, and quality assurance to ensure system performance toward protecting workers against unnecessary inhalation exposures.
The primary purpose of the surveillance of airborne activity concentrations in the workplace is to evaluate and mitigate inhalation hazards to workers in facilities where these can become airborne. A comprehensive surveillance program can be used to
- determine the effectiveness of administrative and engineering controls for confinement,
- measure activity concentrations of radioactive substances,
- alert workers to high activity concentrations in the air,
- aid in estimating worker intakes when bioassay methods are unavailable,
- determine signage or posting requirements for radiation protection, and
- determine appropriate protective equipment and measures.
Air sampling techniques consist of two general approaches. The first approach is retrospective sampling, in which the air is sampled, the collection medium is removed and taken to a radiation detector system and analysed for radioactive substance, and the concentration results made available at a later time. In this context, the measured air concentrations are evaluated retrospectively. The second approach is continuous real-time air monitoring so that workers can be warned that a significant release of airborne radioactivity may have just occurred. In implementing an effective air sampling program, it is important to achieve a balance between the two general approaches. The specific balance depends on hazard level of the work and the characteristics of each facility.
A special component of the second approach which can apply, if properly implemented, is the preparation of continuous air monitoring instrumentation and protocols. This enables radiation protection monitoring of personnel that have been trained and fitted with personal protective equipment (PPE) that permit pre-planned, defined, extended stay time in elevated concentrations of airborne radioactive substances. Such approaches can occur either as part of a planned re-entry of a contaminated area following an accidental loss of containment for accident assessment and recovery, or part of a project which involves systematic or routine access to radioactive substances (e.g. preparing process material containing easily aerosolized components), or handling objects such as poorly characterized waste materials that may contain radioactive contaminants that could be aerosolized when handled during repackaging. In this special case, the role of continuous air monitoring is to provide an alert to health physics personnel that the air concentrations of concern have exceeded a threshold such that the planned level of protection afforded by PPE has been or could be exceeded. This level would typically be many 10's or 100's of times higher than the derived air concentration (DAC) established for unprotected workers. The monitoring alarm or alert would therefore be designed not to be confused with the normal monitoring alarm, and the action taken in response would be similarly targeted at the specific site and personnel involved.
The air sampling strategy should be designed to minimize internal exposures and balanced with social, technical, economic, practical, and public policy considerations that are associated with the use of the radioactive substance.

Überwachung der Aktivitätskonzentrationen von luftgetragenen radioaktiven Substanzen an Arbeitsplätzen kerntechnischer Einrichtungen (ISO 16639:2017)

Dieses Dokument stellt Leitlinien und Leistungskriterien für die Probenentnahme luftgetragener radioaktiver Stoffe am Arbeitsplatz zur Verfügung. Der Schwerpunkt liegt dabei auf dem Gesundheitsschutz der Arbeits-kräfte in Innenräumen.
Dieses Dokument enthält bewährte Verfahren und leistungsbezogene Kriterien für den Einsatz von Geräten und Einrichtungen für die Luftprobenentnahme, einschließlich retrospektiver Sammler und kontinuierlicher Luftmonitore. Insbesondere deckt diese Norm die Ziele eines Luftprobenentnahmeprogramms, die Planung von Probenentnahme- und Messprogrammen zum Erreichen dieser Programmziele, die Verfahren zur Pro-benentnahme und Messung von Luft am Arbeitsplatz und die Qualitätssicherung zur Sicherstellung der Leis-tungsfähigkeit des Systems zum Schutz der Arbeitskräfte vor unnötiger Strahlenbelastung durch Inhalation ab.
Der primäre Zweck der Überwachung der Aktivitätskonzentrationen luftgetragener radioaktiver Stoffe am Ar-beitsplatz ist die Bewertung und Minimierung der Inhalationsgefahr für Arbeitskräfte in Einrichtungen, in denen diese Stoffe in die Luft gelangen können. Ein umfassendes Überwachungsprogramm kann verwendet werden, um:
–   die Wirksamkeit administrativer und technischer Kontrollen für den Einschluss festzulegen;
–   die Aktivitätskonzentrationen radioaktiver Stoffe zu messen;
–   die Arbeitskräfte vor hohen Aktivitätskonzentrationen in der Luft zu warnen;
–   die Abschätzung der Aktivitätszufuhr für die Arbeitskräfte zu unterstützen, falls biologische Testverfahren nicht zur Verfügung stehen;
–   Anforderungen an die Beschilderung und Kennzeichnung für den Strahlenschutz festzulegen;
–   geeignete Schutzausrüstung und Schutzmaßnahmen festzulegen.
Die Verfahren zur Luftprobenentnahme bestehen aus zwei allgemeinen Ansätzen. Der erste Ansatz ist die retrospektive Probenentnahme. Dabei werden Bestandteile der Luft zunächst gesammelt. Das Sammelme-dium wird anschließend entnommen, zu einem Strahlungsdetektor gebracht und auf radioaktive Stoffe hin analysiert. Die ermittelten Aktivitätskonzentrationen stehen erst zu einem späteren Zeitpunkt zur Verfügung, d. h. ihre Bewertung erfolgt retrospektiv. Der zweite Ansatz ist die kontinuierliche Echtzeit-Messung. Hierbei werden die Aktivitätskonzentrationen kontinuierlich gemessen, so dass die Arbeitskräfte bei einer möglicher-weise gerade aufgetretenen, signifikanten Freisetzung luftgetragener Aktivität gewarnt werden können. Bei der Implementierung eines effektiven Luftprobenentnahmeprogramms ist es wichtig, ein ausgewogenes Ver-hältnis zwischen beiden generellen Ansätzen zu erzielen. Dieses hängt insbesondere vom Gefährdungsgrad der Arbeit und den charakteristischen Eigenschaften jeder einzelnen Einrichtung ab.

Surveillance de l’activité volumique des substances radioactives dans l’air des lieux de travail des installations nucléaires (ISO 16639:2017)

Nadzorovanje koncentracije aktivnosti radioaktivnih snovi v zraku na delovnem mestu v jedrskih postrojih (ISO 16639:2017)

Standard ISO 16639:2017 podaja najboljše prakse in merila, ki temeljijo na učinkovitosti, za uporabo naprav ter sistemov za vzorčenje zraka, vključno z retrospektivnimi vzorčevalniki in napravami za stalen nadzor zraka. Natančneje, ta dokument zajema cilje programa vzorčenja zraka, snovanje programov za vzorčenje in nadzor zraka, ki ustrezajo ciljem programa, metode za vzorčenje in nadzor zraka na delovnem mestu ter zagotavljanje kakovosti z namenom delovanja sistema v smeri zaščite delavcev pred nepotrebno izpostavljenostjo vdihavanju.
Prvotni namen nadzorovanja koncentracije aktivnosti v zraku na delovnem mestu je ocenjevanje in zmanjšanje nevarnosti vdihavanja za delavce v obratih, kjer lahko snovi lebdijo v zraku. Celovit program nadzorovanja se lahko uporabi za:
– določanje učinkovitosti administrativnega in inženirskega nadzora za osamitev,
– merjenje koncentracije aktivnosti radioaktivnih snovi,
– opozarjanje delavcev na visoko koncentracijo aktivnosti v zraku,
– pomoč in ocenjevanje količine vdihanih snovi, kadar biološke metode niso na voljo,
– določanje znakov ali objavljanje zahtev za zaščito pred sevanjem ter
– določanje primerne zaščitne opreme in zaščitnih ukrepov.
Tehnike vzorčenja zraka zajemajo dva splošna pristopa. Prvi pristop je retrospektivno vzorčenje, pri katerem se zrak vzorči, ko je medij za zbiranje odstranjen in se vzorec analizira za radioaktivne snovi v sistemu za odkrivanje sevanja, rezultati koncentracije pa so na voljo naknadno. V tem kontekstu so izmerjene koncentracije aktivnosti v zraku vrednotene retrospektivno. Drugi pristop je stalen sprotni nadzor, ki omogoča pravočasno obveščanje delavcev ob morebitnem pomembnem izpustu sevanja v zrak. Pri izvajanju učinkovitega programa vzorčenje zraka je pomembno, da se vzpostavi ravnovesje med obema pristopoma. To ravnovesje je odvisno od stopnje nevarnosti pri delu in značilnosti vsakega obrata.
Posebna komponenta drugega pristopa, ki lahko velja, če je pravilno izvedena, je pripravljenost instrumentov in protokolov za stalni nadzor zraka. To omogoča nadzor zaščite pred sevanjem za osebje, ki je bilo usposobljeno in uporablja osebno zaščitno opremo (PPE), ki dovoljuje predhodno načrtovan, določen ter podaljšan čas čakanja v zvišanih koncentracijah radioaktivnih snovi v zraku. Takšni pristopi se lahko zgodijo kot del načrtovanega ponovnega vstopa v onesnaženo območje po naključnem izpustu za namene ocenjevanja in odpravljanja posledic nesreče ali kot del projekta, ki vključuje sistematičen ali rutinski dostop do radioaktivnih snovi (npr. pripravljanje proizvodnega materiala, ki vsebuje komponente, ki lahko prehajajo v zrak), ali za rokovanje s predmeti, kot je slabo označen odpadni material z morebitnimi radioaktivnimi onesnaževali, ki pri vnovičnem pakiranju zlahka prehajajo v zrak. V tem posebnem primeru je vloga stalnega nadzora zraka to, da medicinski fiziki prejmejo alarm zaradi preseženega praga ustrezne koncentracije v zraku, ki lahko pomeni, da je načrtovana raven zaščite z osebno zaščitno opremo presežena ali pa bi lahko bila presežena. Ta raven bi običajno bila 10- ali 100-krat višja, kot je izpeljana koncentracija v zraku (DAC), ki velja za nezaščitene delavce. Nadzorni alarm ali opozorilo bi bila torej načrtovana tako, da se ju ne zamenja z običajnim nadzornim alarmom, in ukrepi kot odziv nanj bi bili podobno usmerjeni na določeno mesto in vpleteno osebje.
Strategija vzorčenja zraka bi morala biti načrtovana tako, da zmanjša notranjo izpostavljenost in da je v ravnovesju s socialnimi, tehničnimi, ekonomskimi, praktičnimi ter javnimi dejavniki, ki so povezani z rabo radioaktivnih snovi.

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Published
Publication Date
11-Jun-2019
Current Stage
6060 - Definitive text made available (DAV) - Publishing
Due Date
12-Jun-2019
Completion Date
12-Jun-2019

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SLOVENSKI STANDARD
SIST EN ISO 16639:2019
01-september-2019
Nadzorovanje koncentracije aktivnosti radioaktivnih snovi v zraku na delovnem
mestu v jedrskih postrojih (ISO 16639:2017)

Surveillance of the activity concentrations of airborne radioactive substances in the

workplace of nuclear facilities (ISO 16639:2017)

Überwachung der Aktivitätskonzentrationen von luftgetragenen radioaktiven Substanzen

an Arbeitsplätzen kerntechnischer Einrichtungen (ISO 16639:2017)

Surveillance de l’activité volumique des substances radioactives dans l’air des lieux de

travail des installations nucléaires (ISO 16639:2017)
Ta slovenski standard je istoveten z: EN ISO 16639:2019
ICS:
13.040.30 Kakovost zraka na delovnem Workplace atmospheres
mestu
13.280 Varstvo pred sevanjem Radiation protection
27.120.20 Jedrske elektrarne. Varnost Nuclear power plants. Safety
SIST EN ISO 16639:2019 en,fr,de

2003-01.Slovenski inštitut za standardizacijo. Razmnoževanje celote ali delov tega standarda ni dovoljeno.

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SIST EN ISO 16639:2019
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SIST EN ISO 16639:2019
EN ISO 16639
EUROPEAN STANDARD
NORME EUROPÉENNE
June 2019
EUROPÄISCHE NORM
ICS 13.280
English Version
Surveillance of the activity concentrations of airborne
radioactive substances in the workplace of nuclear
facilities (ISO 16639:2017)

Surveillance de l'activité volumique des substances Überwachung der Aktivitätskonzentrationen von

radioactives dans l'air des lieux de travail des luftgetragenen radioaktiven Substanzen an

installations nucléaires (ISO 16639:2017) Arbeitsplätzen kerntechnischer Einrichtungen (ISO

16639:2017)
This European Standard was approved by CEN on 8 March 2019.

CEN members are bound to comply with the CEN/CENELEC Internal Regulations which stipulate the conditions for giving this

European Standard the status of a national standard without any alteration. Up-to-date lists and bibliographical references

concerning such national standards may be obtained on application to the CEN-CENELEC Management Centre or to any CEN

member.

This European Standard exists in three official versions (English, French, German). A version in any other language made by

translation under the responsibility of a CEN member into its own language and notified to the CEN-CENELEC Management

Centre has the same status as the official versions.

CEN members are the national standards bodies of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia,

Finland, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania,

Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland,

Turkey and United Kingdom.
EUROPEAN COMMITTEE FOR STANDARDIZATION
COMITÉ EUROPÉEN DE NORMALISATION
EUROPÄISCHES KOMITEE FÜR NORMUNG
CEN-CENELEC Management Centre: Rue de la Science 23, B-1040 Brussels

© 2019 CEN All rights of exploitation in any form and by any means reserved Ref. No. EN ISO 16639:2019 E

worldwide for CEN national Members.
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SIST EN ISO 16639:2019
EN ISO 16639:2019 (E)
Contents Page

European foreword ....................................................................................................................................................... 3

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SIST EN ISO 16639:2019
EN ISO 16639:2019 (E)
European foreword

The text of ISO 16639:2017 has been prepared by Technical Committee ISO/TC 85 "Nuclear energy,

nuclear technologies, and radiological protection” of the International Organization for Standardization

(ISO) and has been taken over as EN ISO 16639:2019 by Technical Committee CEN/TC 430 “Nuclear

energy, nuclear technologies, and radiological protection” the secretariat of which is held by AFNOR.

This European Standard shall be given the status of a national standard, either by publication of an

identical text or by endorsement, at the latest by December 2019, and conflicting national standards

shall be withdrawn at the latest by December 2019.

Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of

patent rights. CEN shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights.

According to the CEN-CENELEC Internal Regulations, the national standards organizations of the

following countries are bound to implement this European Standard: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria,

Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,

France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta,

Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland,

Turkey and the United Kingdom.
Endorsement notice

The text of ISO 16639:2017 has been approved by CEN as EN ISO 16639:2019 without any modification.

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SIST EN ISO 16639:2019
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SIST EN ISO 16639:2019
INTERNATIONAL ISO
STANDARD 16639
First edition
2017-01
Surveillance of the activity
concentrations of airborne radioactive
substances in the workplace of
nuclear facilities
Surveillance de l’activité volumique des substances radioactives dans
l’air des lieux de travail des installations nucléaires
Reference number
ISO 16639:2017(E)
ISO 2017
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SIST EN ISO 16639:2019
ISO 16639:2017(E)
COPYRIGHT PROTECTED DOCUMENT
© ISO 2017, Published in Switzerland

All rights reserved. Unless otherwise specified, no part of this publication may be reproduced or utilized otherwise in any form

or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, or posting on the internet or an intranet, without prior

written permission. Permission can be requested from either ISO at the address below or ISO’s member body in the country of

the requester.
ISO copyright office
Ch. de Blandonnet 8 • CP 401
CH-1214 Vernier, Geneva, Switzerland
Tel. +41 22 749 01 11
Fax +41 22 749 09 47
copyright@iso.org
www.iso.org
ii © ISO 2017 – All rights reserved
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SIST EN ISO 16639:2019
ISO 16639:2017(E)
Contents Page

Foreword ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................v

Introduction ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................vi

1 Scope ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 1

2 Normative references ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 2

3 Terms and definitions ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 2

4 Symbols .......................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 5

5 Developing the surveillance program ............................................................................................................................................ 5

5.1 Reasons for conducting a surveillance programme ................................................................................................ 5

5.1.1 General...................................................................................................................................................................................... 5

5.1.2 Sampling when respiratory protective equipment is used ......................................................... 6

5.1.3 Sampling to establish air contamination areas ..................................................................................... 6

5.1.4 Air sampling as a basis for determining worker intakes............................................................... 6

5.1.5 Air monitoring for early warning of elevated air concentrations .......................................... 6

5.2 Graded approach to sampling .................................................................................................................................................... 7

5.3 Frequency of sampling ..................................................................................................................................................................... 8

5.3.1 General...................................................................................................................................................................................... 8

5.3.2 Grab vs. continuous sampling ............................................................................................................................... 8

5.3.3 Continuous monitoring of activity concentrations ............................................................................ 8

5.3.4 Prompt analysis of certain samples ................................................................................................................. 9

5.4 Substitutes for air sampling ......................................................................................................................................................... 9

6 Location of samplers and monitors .................................................................................................................................................. 9

6.1 General ........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 9

6.2 Types of air flow studies ................................................................................................................................................................. 9

6.2.1 General...................................................................................................................................................................................... 9

6.2.2 Qualitative airflow studies ...................................................................................................................................... 9

6.2.3 Quantitative airflow studies ................................................................................................................................10

6.3 Location of samplers for estimating committed effective dose .................................................................10

6.4 Location of samplers for evaluating effectiveness of containment.........................................................11

6.5 Location of samplers for posting of air contamination areas ......................................................................11

6.6 Location of portable samplers ................................................................................................................................................12

6.7 Location of CAM for continuous monitoring of the activity concentration .....................................12

7 Collection of samples ....................................................................................................................................................................................12

7.1 General ........................................................................................................................................................................................................12

7.2 Sampling of aerosol particles ..................................................................................................................................................12

7.3 Gas Sampling ..........................................................................................................................................................................................13

8 Evaluation of sampling results ............................................................................................................................................................14

8.1 Determining the average activity concentration ....................................................................................................14

8.2 Uncertainty ..............................................................................................................................................................................................14

8.3 Techniques for correcting for radon progeny interference ...........................................................................15

8.4 Evaluating changes in activity concentration over time ..................................................................................15

8.5 Review of sampling results........................................................................................................................................................15

9 Evaluating the effectiveness of the sampling program ..............................................................................................16

9.1 General ........................................................................................................................................................................................................16

9.2 Dose-based assessment of the adequacy of the sampling program.......................................................16

10 Quality assurance and quality control ........................................................................................................................................17

10.1 General ........................................................................................................................................................................................................17

10.2 Sample identification, handling, and storage .............................................................................................................17

10.3 Sampling and monitoring equipment ..............................................................................................................................17

10.3.1 General...................................................................................................................................................................................17

10.3.2 Performance of measuring instruments ..................................................................................................18

© ISO 2017 – All rights reserved iii
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ISO 16639:2017(E)

10.3.3 Air in-leakage testing ................................................................................................................................................18

10.4 Documentation and record keeping ..................................................................................................................................18

Annex A (informative) Examples for the determination of uncertainty, decision threshold

and detection limit according to ISO 11929 ..........................................................................................................................20

Annex B (informative) Correcting for the interference of radon progeny..................................................................27

Annex C (informative) Normalized concentration and exposure ........................................................................................29

Annex D (informative) Example applications of evaluating sampling program sensitivity

from the viewpoint of potential missed exposure ..........................................................................................................30

Bibliography .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................32

iv © ISO 2017 – All rights reserved
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SIST EN ISO 16639:2019
ISO 16639:2017(E)
Foreword

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards

bodies (ISO member bodies). The work of preparing International Standards is normally carried out

through ISO technical committees. Each member body interested in a subject for which a technical

committee has been established has the right to be represented on that committee. International

organizations, governmental and non-governmental, in liaison with ISO, also take part in the work.

ISO collaborates closely with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on all matters of

electrotechnical standardization.

The procedures used to develop this document and those intended for its further maintenance are

described in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1. In particular the different approval criteria needed for the

different types of ISO documents should be noted. This document was drafted in accordance with the

editorial rules of the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2 (see www .iso .org/ directives).

Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of

patent rights. ISO shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights. Details of

any patent rights identified during the development of the document will be in the Introduction and/or

on the ISO list of patent declarations received (see www .iso .org/ patents).

Any trade name used in this document is information given for the convenience of users and does not

constitute an endorsement.

For an explanation on the meaning of ISO specific terms and expressions related to conformity assessment,

as well as information about ISO’s adherence to the World Trade Organization (WTO) principles in the

Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) see the following URL: www . i so .org/ iso/ foreword .html.

The committee responsible for this document is ISO/TC 85, Nuclear energy, nuclear technologies, and

radiological protection, Subcommittee SC 2, Radiological protection.
© ISO 2017 – All rights reserved v
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SIST EN ISO 16639:2019
ISO 16639:2017(E)
Introduction

Sampling of airborne radionuclides and monitoring of activity concentration in workplaces are critically

important for maintaining worker safety at facilities where dispersible radioactive substances are used.

Specifically, air sampling and monitoring are critical for evaluation of containment integrity, evaluation

of effectiveness of contamination control programs and work practices, providing measurements for

qualitative dose assessment, providing a general assessment of the level of the airborne hazard in a room,

and for providing workers an immediate warning when the activity concentration exceeds safe levels.

This document sets forth guidelines and performance criteria for sampling airborne radioactive

substances and monitoring activity concentration in the workplace of nuclear facilities. Emphasis is

on health protection for workers in indoor environments. This document provides best practices and

performance-based criteria for the use of sampling devices and systems, including delayed radioactivity

measurement samplers and continuous air monitors. Specifically, this document covers air sampling

program objectives, design of sampling and monitoring programs to meet program objectives, methods

for air sampling and monitoring in the workplace, and quality assurance to ensure system performance

toward protecting workers against unnecessary inhalation exposures. Taken together, these activities

constitute the sampling or surveillance program.

The primary purpose of the surveillance of airborne activity concentrations in the workplace is to

evaluate and mitigate inhalation hazards to workers in facilities where these may become airborne.

Results often provide the basis for development and evaluation of control procedures and may indicate

if engineering controls or operational changes are necessary.

The surveillance can consist of two general techniques. The first is retrospective sampling, in which

constituents of the air are sampled, the collection medium is removed and taken to a radiation detector

system and analysed for radioactive substances, and the activity concentration results made available

at a later time. In this context, the measured activity concentrations are evaluated retrospectively. The

second approach is real-time monitoring, in which activity concentrations are continuously monitored

so that workers can be warned that a significant release of airborne activity may have occurred. In

implementing an effective sampling program, it is important to achieve a proper balance between the

two general approaches of the program. The specific balance depends on the hazard level of the work

and the characteristics of each facility.

When designing a surveillance program, the optimization of worker protection minimizes internal

and external exposures while balancing social, technical, economic, practical, and public policy

considerations that are associated with the use of the radioactive substance.

A comprehensive surveillance program should also consider that the monitoring program is only one

element of a comprehensive radiation protection program. Therefore, individuals involved with the

monitoring program should interact with personnel working in the other elements of the radiation

protection program, such as contamination control and internal dosimetry.
vi © ISO 2017 – All rights reserved
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SIST EN ISO 16639:2019
INTERNATIONAL STANDARD ISO 16639:2017(E)
Surveillance of the activity concentrations of airborne
radioactive substances in the workplace of nuclear
facilities
1 Scope

This document provides guidelines and performance criteria for sampling airborne radioactive

substances in the workplace. Emphasis is on health protection of workers in the indoor environment.

This document provides best practices and performance-based criteria for the use of air sampling

devices and systems, including retrospective samplers and continuous air monitors. Specifically, this

document covers air sampling program objectives, design of air sampling and monitoring programs

to meet program objectives, methods for air sampling and monitoring in the workplace, and quality

assurance to ensure system performance toward protecting workers against unnecessary inhalation

exposures.

The primary purpose of the surveillance of airborne activity concentrations in the workplace is to

evaluate and mitigate inhalation hazards to workers in facilities where these can become airborne. A

comprehensive surveillance program can be used to

— determine the effectiveness of administrative and engineering controls for confinement,

— measure activity concentrations of radioactive substances,
— alert workers to high activity concentrations in the air,
— aid in estimating worker intakes when bioassay methods are unavailable,
— determine signage or posting requirements for radiation protection, and
— determine appropriate protective equipment and measures.

Air sampling techniques consist of two general approaches. The first approach is retrospective sampling,

in which the air is sampled, the collection medium is removed and taken to a radiation detector system

and analysed for radioactive substance, and the concentration results made available at a later time.

In this context, the measured air concentrations are evaluated retrospectively. The second approach

is continuous real-time air monitoring so that workers can be warned that a significant release of

airborne radioactivity may have just occurred. In implementing an effective air sampling program, it is

important to achieve a balance between the two general approaches. The specific balance depends on

hazard level of the work and the characteristics of each facility.

A special component of the second approach which can apply, if properly implemented, is the preparation

of continuous air monitoring instrumentation and protocols. This enables radiation protection

monitoring of personnel that have been trained and fitted with personal protective equipment (PPE)

that permit pre-planned, defined, extended stay time in elevated concentrations of airborne radioactive

substances. Such approaches can occur either as part of a planned re-entry of a contaminated area

following an accidental loss of containment for accident assessment and recovery, or part of a project

which involves systematic or routine access to radioactive substances (e.g. preparing process material

containing easily aerosolized components), or handling objects such as poorly characterized waste

materials that may contain radioactive contaminants that could be aerosolized when handled during

repackaging. In this special case, the role of continuous air monitoring is to provide an alert to health

physics personnel that the air concentrations of concern have exceeded a threshold such that the

planned level of protection afforded by PPE has been or could be exceeded. This level would typically be

many 10’s or 100’s of times higher than the derived air concentration (DAC) established for unprotected

workers. The monitoring alarm or alert would therefore be designed not to be confused with the normal

© ISO 2017 – All rights reserved 1
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SIST EN ISO 16639:2019
ISO 16639:2017(E)

monitoring alarm, and the action taken in response would be similarly targeted at the specific site and

personnel involved.

The air sampling strategy should be designed to minimize internal exposures and balanced with social,

technical, economic, practical, and public policy considerations that are associated with the use of the

radioactive substance.

A comprehensive air sampling strategy should also consider that the air sampling program is only

one element of a broader radiation protection program. Therefore, individuals involved with the air

sampling program should interact with personnel working in other elements of the radiation protection

program, such as contamination control and internal dosimetry.

This document does not address outdoor air sampling, effluent monitoring, or radon measurements.

2 Normative references

The following documents are referred to in the text in such a way that some or all of their content

constitutes requirements of this document. For dated references, only the edition cited applies. For

undated references, the latest edition of the referenced document (including any amendments) applies.

ISO 11929, Determination of the characteristic limits (decision threshold, detection limit and limits of the

confidence interval) for measurements of ionizing radiation — Fundamentals and application

3 Terms and definitions
For the purposes of this document, the following terms and definitions apply.

ISO and IEC maintain terminological databases for use in standardization at the following addresses:

— IEC Electropedia: available at http:// www .electropedia .org/
— ISO Online browsing platform: available at http:// www .iso .org/ obp
3.1
accuracy
closeness of agreement between a measured value and a true value
3.2
aerodynamic diameter

diameter of a sphere with density 1 000 kg·m that has the same sedimentation velocity in quiescent

air as the actual particle of arbitrary shape and density
3.3
aerosol
dispersion of solid or liquid particles in air or other gas
Note 1 to entry: An aerosol is not only the aerosol particles.
3.4
airborne radioactive substance

radioactive substance dispersed in the air in the form of dusts, fumes, particulates, mists, vapours,

or gases
3.5
air contamination area

area accessible to individuals where the measured activity concentrations of an airborne radioactive

substance exceeds or is likely to exceed the applicable national criteria
2 © ISO 2017 – All rights reserved
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SIST EN ISO 16639:2019
ISO 16639:2017(E)
3.6
air sampler

device designed to pass a known volume of air containing a radioactive substance through a filter or

other media and thereby trapping the airborne radioactive substance on the sampling media

3.7
annual limit on intake
ALI

derived limit for the amount of radioactive substance (in Bq) taken into the body of an adult worker by

inhalation or ingestion in a year
3.8
breathing zone

uniform description of the volume of air directly around the worker‘s upper body and head, which may

be drawn into the lungs during the course of breathing

Note 1 to entry: An air sample representative of the breathing zone is usually considered to be representative if

drawn from within about 30 cm of the worker’s head.
3.9
breathing zone sampler
BZA
air sampler located in the breathing zone
Note 1 to entry: Other common terms in
...

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