S. Dalak, “Estimation of Protection Factors for the Transport of Radioactive Materials”, Thesis, Nuclear Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX (2021).
In the event of exposures from contamination events resulting from transportation of radioactive materials, the radiation protection factor (RPF) value of a vehicle informs emergency responders and the general public about protection level of a vehicle. Prior studies evaluating RPFs demonstrate a lack of realistic vehicle configurations and the results cannot be extended directly to scenarios when a vehicle is surrounded by a contaminated environmental field or internally contaminated with a field in-cabin. Consequently, there is further need to determine the exposure risk to first responders, the workforce crew, and civilians for early-phase protection actions or controlling the contaminated transportation routes, as the presence of radiation will not be known until trained personnel with specialized equipment are on the scene. Transportation risk analysis code, RADTRAN, simplifies incident-free population dose from external radiation emitted by radioactive material packages using simplified mathematical models. In terms of simplified mathematical models, as the code over-estimates the dose from experimental calculations, there is a need for updating the previous validations to point out better the differences between the models for different scenarios. An analysis of the simplified mathematical models used in transportation risk code for incident-free transportation and the RPF values for vehicles under hypothetical accident/incident condition of transport will help to increase the reliability of the RADTRAN transport code and utility of RPF values for vehicle, respectively, which will result in improved radiation protection protocol in handling and consequence management scenarios.