How does LANL estimate the potential dose to the public?

What is the Maximally Exposed Individual?

Comparing Radiation Doses

Source Millirem
LANL All-pathways/year 0.5 – 3
Dental X-ray/each 2 - 3
Mammogram 3
Radon in NM/year 300
Flight/hour 0.4
Chest X-ray 6
Barium swallow 150
  • Calculates the dose to the maximally exposed individual (MEI)
  • MEI is a hypothetical person located on the border of LANL property
  • Assumes 24 hours of every day of the year constantly at the location
  • Assumes the person eats food grown and drinks water found at the location
  • The limit that LANL is allowed to contribute is less than 10 millirem

LANL calculates doses from two different MEIs:

  • Airborne-pathway MEI
    • Location is determined by using AIRNET data, stack sampling, and computer models to
      calculate the greatest potential airborne dose.
  • All-pathway MEI
    • Considers every possible way radiation from LANL might affect a human.
    • To determine the dose, the potential dose to each pathway is calculated. The doses are
      then added together for a total all-pathways dose.


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