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Continuous Air Monitor Operating Experience Review

L. C. Cadwallader, S. A. Bruyere

Fusion Science and Technology

Volume 56 / Number 1 / July 2009 / Pages 245-251


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Continuous air monitors (CAMs) are used to sense radioactive particulates in room air of nuclear facilities. CAMs alert personnel of potential inhalation exposures to radionuclides and can also actuate room ventilation isolation for public and environmental protection. This paper presents the results of a CAM operating experience review of the DOE Occurrence Reporting and Processing System (ORPS) database from the past 18 years. Regulations regarding these monitors are briefly reviewed. CAM location selection and operation are briefly discussed. Operating experiences reported by the U.S. Department of Energy and in other literature sources were reviewed to determine the strengths and weaknesses of these monitors. Power losses, human errors, and mechanical issues cause the majority of failures. The average "all modes" failure rate is 2.65E-05/hr. Repair time estimates vary from an average repair time of 9 hours (with spare parts on hand) to 252 hours (without spare parts on hand). These data should support the use of CAMs in any nuclear facility, including the National Ignition Facility and the international ITER experiment.

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