Prevent, Promote, and Protect your Health with the Lake County General Health District
(440) 350-2543
1 Victoria Square
Painesville, OH 44077

Radiation

Radiological Health
(Radiation Monitoring)

PROGRAM GOAL: To ensure protection of the community from unnecessary radiation exposure.

PROGRAM RESPONSIBILITY: The Health District’s Radiological Health Program currently involves the following areas:

1. Surveillance monitoring for the Perry Nuclear Power Plant (PNPP).
2. Ambient air monitoring.
3. Microwave oven testing for non-ionizing radiation.
4. Emergency monitoring for the PNPP.
5. Information concerning radon testing and radon reduction methods for homes and schools.
6. Distribution of potassium iodide (KI) to institutions within the 10 mile EPZ.

The Lake County General Health District conducts routine monitoring of the Perry Nuclear Power Plant.

The following list of samples collected shows the type of sample and frequency of sample collection.

AIR PARTICULATES – Weekly
Air particulates are sampled on 0.80 mm filters that are collected once a week. The average air flow rate through the filter is three to four cubic feet per minute. The filters are shipped by overnight carrier to the ODH Laboratory in Columbus to be analyzed.

Air Particulates Analysis
Weekly Gross Beta Analysis
At the ODH Laboratory, gross beta analysis is performed on each filter paper. To prepare the filters for analysis, the filter papers are held for 72 hours in the laboratory. The filters are placed in planchets that have a small amount of petroleum jelly placed on the edges to ensure that the filter will remain in the planchet while being counted. The sample is counted in a Tennelec alpha-beta counter for 20 minutes.

Quarterly Filter Composites Analysis

After the weekly gross beta analysis, the filters are composited for a quarterly gamma isotopic analysis. Gamma isotopic analysis of quarterly filter paper composites is performed using a gamma spectroscopy system with an intrinsic germanium detector. Composites are counted for 60 minutes.

AIR IODINE – Weekly

Air iodine is sampled in TEDA impregnated charcoal cartridges that are collected once a week. The average air flow rate through the cartridge is three to four cubic feet per minute. The cartridges are shipped by overnight carrier to the ODH Laboratory in Columbus to be analyzed.

Air Iodine Analysis
At the ODH Laboratory, the charcoal canisters are analyzed for the presence of iodine-131 (I-131). Charcoal cartridges are analyzed for iodine activity using a cylinder containing a thallium activated NaI crystal (gamma spectroscopy system). Cartridges are counted for 30 minutes per side.

WATER – Monthly
Surface water from Lake Erie is collected at the Perry Plant Intake using a Horizon Interval Sampler that collects a small volume of water at short intervals. At the end of a one-month time period, a total volume of five gallons of water is collected. Two one-gallon samples are then taken from this volume. The first one-gallon sample is collected in a cubitainer to which five milliliters of hydrochloric acid is added. The second one-gallon sample is collected in a cubitainer to which no hydrochloric acid is added. Both samples are packed on ice and shipped by overnight carrier to the ODH Laboratory for analysis. Gross beta and gamma isotopic analyses are performed on the monthly water samples, and tritium analysis is performed on a quarterly composite of the monthly samples.

At the control location, Painesville Water Treatment Plant, an interval sampler is also used to obtain a water sample. The sampler collects a one-minute sample of water from the raw water sample line every hour. Two one-gallon samples are then taken from this volume. The first one-gallon sample is collected in a cubitainer to which five milliliters of hydrochloric acid is added. The second one-gallon sample is collected in a cubitainer to which no hydrochloric acid is added. Both samples are packed on ice and shipped by overnight carrier to the ODH Laboratory for analysis. Analyses are the same as those performed on the indicator water sample.

Surface Water Analysis
Gross Alpha and Gross Beta Analysis of Water Samples
An aliquot of drinking water to which hydrochloric acid has been added is evaporated to a small volume and transferred quantitatively into a tared two-inch stainless steel counting planchet. The sample residue is dried to constant weight, and then counted for alpha and/or beta activity.

Gamma Isotopic Analysis of Monthly Water Samples
Water is transferred into a Marinelli beaker and counted using an intrinsic germanium detector. Monthly water samples from PNPP are counted for 24 hours.

Tritium Analysis of Water Samples

Monthly water samples containing no hydrochloric acid are transferred to clean glass containers upon arrival at the laboratory. At the end of each quarter, three monthly samples will have been composited.

A sample of the quarterly composite is treated by alkaline permanganate distillation to hold back most quenching materials as well as radioiodine radiocarbon. Transfer of tritiated water is completed by distillation. The first 15 milliliters of distillate is discarded, and 20 to 50 milliliters of distillate is collected. The subsample of distillate is mixed with scintillation solution and the beta activity is counted on a coincidence type liquid scintillation spectrometer.

MILK – Monthly
The only milk animals within close proximity to the PNPP are goats. The collection of milk from goats has been limited by two major factors: 1) the limited supply of milk which can be produced by a goat at any given time and 2) the seasonal production of milk by goats. During the spring and summer months a one-gallon sample of milk is collected from goats. During the goats’ dry season, cow#8217s milk from a slightly more distant location is collected as a substitute.

One hundred milligrams of sodium bisulfate are added to each one-gallon milk sample. Milk samples are packed on ice and shipped by overnight carrier to the ODH Laboratory where radioiodine and gamma isotopic analyses are performed.

Milk Analysis
Gamma Isotopic Analysis
Milk is poured into a 3.5 liter Marinelli beaker and counted using a gamma spectroscopy system with an intrinsic germanium detector. The milk samples are counted for 24 hours to detect iodine 131.

VEGETATION – Monthly

Grass is collected monthly from a location within the area of highest predicted radiation deposition. The grass is cut and gathered from an area of approximately 300 square feet. The grass sample is packed on ice and shipped by overnight carrier to the ODH Laboratory to be analyzed.

Vegetation Analysis
Gamma Isotopic Analysis
Vegetation is homogenized in a blender and transferred to a Marinelli beaker for counting. The sample is counted for 400 minutes.

PRODUCE – As Available Throughout the Season
Samples of available in-season green leafy vegetables are collected as available from a commercial produce farm in the vicinity of the plant. Produce samples are packed on ice and shipped by overnight carrier to the ODH Laboratory.

Produce Analysis
Gamma Isotopic Analysis
Produce is homogenized in a grinder or blender and transferred to a Marinelli beaker for counting. The sample is counted for 400 minutes.

FISH – Sem-annually
Several species of commercially or recreationally important fish are collected from the vicinity of the PNPP discharge on a semiannual basis. Samples are collected using a gill net that is set in the evening and removed the following morning. LCGHD obtains approximately one kilogram of each species caught. The samples are packed on ice and shipped by overnight carrier to the ODH Laboratory.

Fish Analysis
Gamma Isotopic Analysis
Fish fillets are hand chopped and transferred to a one liter Marinelli beaker. The sample is counted using an intrinsic germanium detector for 100 minutes.

LAKE SEDIMENT – Semi-annually

Bottom sediments from Lake Erie are collected semi-annually in the vicinity of the plant effluent discharge. A Petite Ponar Grab Sampler is used to collect the one-kilogram sample, which is then transferred to a plastic container, packed on ice, and shipped by overnight carrier to the ODH Laboratory for gamma isotopic analysis.

Sediment Analysis
Gross Alpha, Gross Beta Analysis
Sediment is air dried, mortar and pestled, ground, and sieved through a 35-mesh screen. Fifty milligrams of sieved material is transferred to a tared stainless steel planchet. Two milliliters of distilled water is added and the sample is swirled to achieve a uniform thickness. The sample is dried on a water bath at 100 degrees Celsius, desiccated, and counted on an alpha-beta counter for 200 minutes.

Gamma Isotopic Analysis

Sediment is dried, mortar and pestled, ground, and sieved through a 35-mesh screen. The sample is then placed in a four-ounce jar and counted for 200 minutes.