Personal Dosimetry Enhancement for Underground Workplaces

L. Thinová, A. Fronka, D. Milka


Personal dosimetry for underground workers mainly concerns measurement of the concentration of radon (and its daughters) and the correct application of the data in dose calculation, using a biokinetic model for lung dosimetry. A conservative approach for estimating the potential dose in caves (or underground) is based on solid state alpha track detector measurements. The obtained dataset is converted into an annual effective dose in agreement with the ICRP recommendations using the “cave factor”, the value of which depends on the spectrum of aerosol particles, or on the proportional representation of the unattached and the attached fraction and on the equilibrium factor. The main difference between apartments and caves is the absence of aerosol sources, high humidity, low ventilation rate and the uneven surface in caves. A more precisely determined dose value would have a significant impact on radon remedies or on restricting the time workers stay underground. In order to determine  how the effective dose is calculated, it is necessary to divide these areas into distinct categories by the following measuring procedures: continual radon measurement (to capture the differences in EERC between working hours and night-time, and also between daily and seasonal radon concentration variations); regular measurements of radon and its daughters to estimate the equilibrium factor and the presence of 218Po; regular indoor air flow measurements to study the location of the radon supply and its transfer among individual areas of the cave; natural radioactive element content evaluation in subsoils and in water inside/outside, a study of the radon sources in the cave; aerosol particle-size spectrum measurements to determine the free fraction; monitoring the behaviour of guides and workers to record the actual time spent in the cave, in relation to the continuously monitored levels of Rn concentration. 


radon concentration; underground; cave; effective dose; aerosol particles

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ISSN 1210-2709 (Print)
ISSN 1805-2363 (Online)
Published by the Czech Technical University in Prague