With the use of ionizing radiation comes the risk of accidents and malevolent misuse. When unplanned exposures occur, there are several methods which can be used to retrospectively reconstruct individual radiation exposures; biological methods include analysis of aberrations and damage of chromosomes and DNA, while physical methods rely on luminescence (TL/OSL) or EPR signals. To ensure the quality and dependability of these methods, they should be evaluated under realistic exposure conditions. In 2019, EURADOS Working Group 10 and RENEB organized a field test with the purpose of evaluating retrospective dosimetry methods as carried out in potential real-life exposure scenarios. A 1.36 TBq 192Ir source was used to irradiate anthropomorphic phantoms in different geometries at doses of several Gy in an outdoor open-air geometry. Materials intended for accident dosimetry (including mobile phones and blood) were placed on the phantoms together with reference dosimeters (LiF, NaCl, glass). The objective was to estimate radiation exposures received by individuals as measured using blood and fortuitous materials, and to evaluate these methods by comparing the estimated doses to reference measurements and Monte Carlo simulations. Herein we describe the overall planning, goals, execution and preliminary outcomes of the 2019 field test. Such field tests are essential for the development of new and existing methods. The outputs from this field test include useful experience in terms of planning and execution of future exercises, with respect to time management, radiation protection, and reference dosimetry to be considered to obtain relevant data for analysis.
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This work was partly supported by the European Radiation Dosimetry Group (EURADOS; WG10) and partly supported by Public Health England (PHE). The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of PHE. A portion of the content of this article has been given as an oral presentation at the ERRS20 conference by the corresponding author.
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