Evaluation of Airflow Patterns Following Procedures Established by NUREG-1400

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The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s guide, NUREG-1400, addresses many aspects of air sampling in the work place. Here, we present detailed examples of the methodology used to conduct two qualitative airflow studies at different sites. In one test, smoke was used to evaluate the airflow patterns within a high-bay building for the purpose of determining appropriate locations for air monitoring equipment. The study revealed a stagnant layer of the air within the transfer area that made predicting movement of contamination within the transfer area difficult. Without conducting an airflow study, the stagnant layer may not have been identified and could have resulted in placement of samplers at inappropriate locations. In a second test, smoke was used to verify the effectiveness of an air space barrier curtain. The results showed that the curtain adequately separated the two air spaces. The methodology employed in each test provided sound, easy to interpret information that satisfied the requirements of each test. The methods described in this article can be applied at most facilities where determination of airflow patterns or the verification of suspected airflow patterns is required.

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