How does LANL estimate the potential dose to the public?

LANL calculates doses from two different maximally exposed individuals (MEIs): airborne-pathway and all-pathway.
The limit that LANL is allowed to contribute is less than 10 millirem.

Comparing Radiation Doses

A maximally exposed individual, or MEI, is a hypothetical person located on the border of LANL property. MEI assumes the person eats food grown and drinks water found at the location, and also assumes the individual is constantly at the location 24 hours of every day of the year.

SourceMillirem
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

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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