Operation Tomodachi Individual Radiation Monitoring

Report
Operation Tomodachi
Individual Radiation Monitoring
LCDR Thad Sharp, USN
Joint Forces Land Component Command
(JFLCC) – III MEF(F)
Outline
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Radiation Monitoring Program intro
CONOPS
Execution
Challenges
Recommendations
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Assignment Introduction
• OPCON to Marine Corps Forces Pacific
(MARFORPAC)
• TACON to JFLCC (III MEF (Fwd))
• Augmented Force Surgeon and G-3 at
MARFORPAC and Command Surgeon at JFLCC
• Requested to support Operation Tomodachi as
a radiation and decontamination SME
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Radiation Monitoring
Program Background
• Commandant of the Marine Corps directed
“all Marines in the effected area be monitored
for radiation with a dose of record device”
• MARFORPAC to perform radiation monitoring
for Marines working ISO Operation Tomodachi
• Requested approval from LTG Theissen for
radiation monitoring plan prior to pushing
forward to JFLCC in Japan
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Planned CONOPS
• Provide dose of record radiation monitoring
for all Marines and DoD civilians working in
the effected area
• Monitor housing areas with posted dosimetry
• Potentially monitor dependents
• Navy DT-702 TLDs for use as primary
dosimeter and Navy EPDs as secondary
dosimeter for use in the hot zone
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Challenges to Planned CONOPS
• JFLCC is a Joint command with all Services
represented
• Plans developed by MARFORPAC were NOT
coordinated with the forward command
elements
• MARFORPAC didn’t have all the information
going forward
• Air Force Radiation Assessment Team (AFRAT)
arrived 2 days before my team
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Revised Plan Execution
• AFRAT issued NVLAP EPDs to all Service
members per CG JFLCC direction
• Instead of replacing Marine’s EPD with Navy
TLDs, continued use of AFRAT EPDs
– EPDs provide real-time digital readout
• Psychological impact of replacing EPD with
TLD (no real-time info)
• AFRAT fell under JFLCC and provided
dosimetry services
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Revised Plan Execution
Thermo MK2 EPD
Navy DT-702 TLD
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Challenges
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Personnel Movement
EPD vice TLD
Service Specific Dosimetry
Higher HQ Guidance
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Challenges – Personnel Movement
• For Navy RHOs
– Many RHOs are in 1 of 1 billets
– Some resistance to give up RHOs for deployment
– No clear plan once the members arrived in
country, for example:
• Where they were to be assigned
• Who exactly to report to
• What their mission was going to be
– Medical Planners did not seek requirements
guidance from forward command elements
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Challenges – Personnel Movement
• AFRAT and USTRANSCOM problems
– The AFRAT sat at Wright Patterson AFB for several
days waiting on transportation
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Challenges – Personnel Movement
• Travel orders/DTS/GOVCC/SATO issues
– Original orders were for ship conditions
• Mission changed before even getting to Hawaii
– Not all SATO offices can help with TAD travel
– Orders amendment required for partial payment
to GOVCC (TAD >45 days)
– GOVCC credit limit not high enough for extended
overseas TAD
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Challenges – EPD vs. TLD
• Thermoluminescent Dosimeter (TLD)
– Very common device for recording a radiation
“dose of record” (primary dosimeter)
– Provides no real-time readings to the user
– Must be sent back to home lab to be read
– Much lower cost per unit compared to EPD
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Challenges – EPD vs. TLD
• Electronic Personal Dosimeter (EPD)
– Becoming more widely used as a primary
dosimeter if NVLAP accredited
– Provides digital, real-time information to the user
– Can be confusing with regards to NVLAP
accredited device or not
• It’s the process and not just the EPD that is accredited
• CBRN Marine’s DMR-2000 EPD is neither a calibrated
nor accredited dosimeter
– To date, only AFRAT has NVLAP accredited EPDs
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Challenges - Service Specific
Dosimetry
• Army, Navy, and Air Force all have different
dosimetry systems (OSL, Harshaw, Panasonic)
– All work very well for specific Service
requirements
• All Services have different methods of storing
the permanent radiation dose in medical
records and archives
• Not conducive to a Joint operation in a
radiological environment
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Challenges - Service Specific
Dosimetry
• Resistance from all three Service Dosimetry
Centers on the use of one common primary
dosimeter for all Service members assigned to
the JFLCC
• One Service still badged personnel with their
specific dosimetry
– Created a “double badging” problem
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Challenges – Higher HQ Guidance
• Guidance was 300 mrem/operation
– Most JTF personnel had TLDs not EPDs
• Dosimetry guidance:
– Confusing
– Delayed
– Conflicting
• JFLCC had to develop and execute plans
without higher command guidance
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Recommendations
• Develop and deploy a Joint radiation
dosimeter for use in Joint operations
– Needs to be NVLAP accredited
– Easily integrated by all Services
– Lightweight
– Rugged and EMP hardened
– LLD in the microrem range, i.e. ~10 urem/h
– Provide real-time and long term exposure info
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Recommendations
• Evaluate and update training on equipment
for radiation and nuclear events for CBRN
Marines
– Specific training for proper contamination surveys
– More in-depth radiation safety training
• Biological effects of ionizing radiation
• Radiation and contamination detection principles and
equipment
• Basic health physics and math related to radiation
safety
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The Way Ahead
• The JRO-CBRND has begun the collaborative
efforts for writing a Capabilities Development
Document (CDD) for a Joint Expeditionary
Radiation Dosimetry System
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