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Detection Threshold of Large Area Wipes

Blue, Leldon A.*

doi: 10.1097/HP.0b013e31829ceead
Operational Topic

A methodology is provided to determine how much removable surface contamination can be detected on a large area wipe by surveying the wipe with a portable survey instrument. Equations are provided to relate levels of removable surface contamination to survey instrument readings from a wipe, considering the effects of wipe size and background. Justification is provided to demonstrate that action limits have not been exceeded if contamination is not detected on a large area wipe provided the parameters of the survey are appropriately controlled.

A method is provided to estimate the capability of large area wipes to detect low levels of removable contamination in areas expected to be free of contamination.

* Consultant, Chapin, South Carolina.

The author declares no conflicts of interest.

Leldon Blue is a consultant for the nuclear industry for both health physics and training. He obtained a Bachelors of Science from Oklahoma State University in health physics related studies. Leldon Blue has over 36 years of experience in the nuclear power industry including over 20 years as a radiation protection manager at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station. He was also a loanee to the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations as a senior evaluator for over two years and the site training manager at V.C. Summer for over 3 years. Leldon is a certified health physicist and a certified senior reactor operator. His email is

(Manuscript accepted 3 May 2013)

© 2014 by the Health Physics Society