Estimates of Fallout in the Continental U.S. from Nevada Weapons Testing Based on Gummed-Film Monitoring Data

  • Harold L. Beck
  • Irene K. Helfer
  • André Bouville
  • Mona Dreicer
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 35)


During periods of weapons testing at the Nevada Test Site (NTS) between 1951 and 1958, the Environmental Measurements Laboratory (EML) monitored daily fallout at about 100 sites in the U.S. using gummed-film collectors. These gummed-film data represent the only comprehensive set of actual measurements of fallout during this period for areas outside the immediate vicinity of the NTS. The measured β activities originally reported by EML have been reviewed and reevaluated. This reevaluation corrected a number of errors in the original data set and allowed fairly accurate estimates to be made of specific radionuclide depositions from individual NTS shots. Estimates of the geographical and temporal variations in cumulative 137Cs and 131I depositions from all NTS shots through 1957 are presented, as well as estimates of the relative impact of particular shots and test series. The revised gummed-film estimates of total NTS fallout depositions are compared with estimates based on contemporary and historical soil sample analyses. These reevaluated gummed-film fallout deposition estimates are being extensively utilized in a number of ongoing programs to reconstruct the radiation exposure of the U.S. population from Nevada weapons testing.


Test Series Collection Efficiency Public Health Service Total Deposition Fallout Deposition 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harold L. Beck
  • Irene K. Helfer
    • 1
  • André Bouville
    • 2
  • Mona Dreicer
    • 3
  1. 1.Environmental Measurements LaboratoryU.S. Department of EnergyNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Low Level Radiation Effects BranchNational Cancer InstituteBethesdaUSA
  3. 3.Lawrence Livermore National LaboratoryLivermoreUSA

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