b'C H A P T E R 7S A F ETY I N S I D E A N D O U TS I D E T H E F E N C E Swashed radioactive particulates out of alpha, beta, and gamma radiation. Theythe fallout cloud and contaminated the described various methods of shieldingtruck. The truck arrived at the NRTS and how remote-controlled deviceswith a detectable radiation field on all manipulated hazardous materials whileof its exterior surfaces, up to 10 mil- the operator stood behind thick panelslirem per hour in spots. It took some of leaded glass. 16time before the puzzled analysts figuredout what had occurred. 14 Reporters described the job of the healthphysicist (HP), who regularly measuredThe AEC kept the tests secret in an the doses of radiation each worker IDO 21221effort to deceive the USSR, whose received. The HPs issued everyone a A house in the former residential part of the Navalphysicists, it was feared, could learn the small ionization chamber resembling a Proving Ground became a field station, its kitchen asize and other features of a detonation pen that was carried in a shirt pocket. laboratory for the 1950 radiation survey.from the fallout that reached its own Together with a badge lined with specialatmosphere. If the AEC had made pub- film, the HPcould determine and recordlic announcements before the tests, it the radiation each employee had beenwould have made Soviet work easier. exposed to in a day, a week, a quarter, orBut by keeping the secret from the a year. The AEC issued regulations pro-NRTS as well, it presented the Sites viding maximum exposure limits forenvironmental monitoring personnel given periods of time, and each contrac-with similar challenges.tor was obligated to protect its workersand its safety record accordingly. InThe IDO continued an active program 1955 the National Committee onof sampling, regularly testing the air Radiation Protection, whose advice Idaho State Historical Society MS 326 Box 5/INEEL 3479(using film badges located on perimeter guided the AEC, adopted exposure stan- Calibration technicians check ionization chambers offences and other areas), on- and off-site dards for the general public for the first a minometer. Site employees wore them in theirwells, dairy milk from cows at nearby time. These were an arbitrary ten percent pockets. The devices were checked daily for possiblefarms, and tissue from trapped or road- of the permissible occupational exposure exposure to radiation.killed jack rabbits and other animals on level. The IDO philosophy was that thethe Site. After 1959 the IDO distributed NRTS was not engaged in weapons pro-quarterly tabulations of the monitoring duction and should operate as a modelresults to the press, the Idaho for civilian and peaceful operations, soDepartment of Health, and members of the Site used exposure standards thatthe Idaho congressional delegation. 15 were more restrictive than those permit-ted by the AEC. Another reason for pre-Questions of safety interested nearby venting workers from exceedingtowns as well, and southeast Idaho exposure limits was to avoid having tonews reporters covered the story of the transfer them to non-nuclear work, a sig-background radiation survey with great nificant administrative annoyance. 1 7 INEEL 59-1619interest. Reporters wrote several articles Film badges measured personal radiation doseabout radioactivity, teaching themselves The public read about emergency evac- levels.and their readers how to understand the uation plans, new microwave commu-special hazards associated with atom nications technology, the use of airwork, and the difference between filters, and the large ionization cham-5 9'