When is it permissible to cut off someone else’s air supply?

We just finished our little birthday party on the unsuspecting German science babe. Good food and a double feature: Tangled and MegaMind.

Both are excellent movies.

So, we’re definitely starting to send over contractors. My little brother could swing a meter for them, but doesn’t have his passport. Xenophobe.

“These are not ‘jumpers’ rushing into a room. (snip) Jumpers” is the industry term for people who enter highly radioactive environments to quickly perform a task. The practice was common in the United States in the 1970s and early 80s.

The main use of jumpers in PWRs (pressurized water reactors) was in plugging leaky steam generator tubes.  Thus “steam jumpers” or “generator jumpers”.  The whole-body dose rates in there could be 200mSv/h (20 rem/h) or more.  

Those dose rates may not seem high from recent events, but we had to time those entries with a stopwatch.  It was one of the very few jobs where a slipup could result in doses above the annual limit.  And they were dressed in bubble suits with supplied air, because the airborne contamination was so high.

Also, for a while, some places paid bonuses to jumpers who could achieve enough plugs.  This was a mistake.  Because when the rad tech started telling them, then yelling at them, to come out immediately…some didn’t.  They cared more about the dollars than the dose.

I never crimped anyone’s airline to get them out…but some techs did.   Unsurprisingly, it worked.  And the jumpers had to swallow their anger for two reasons.  First, other people on the headphones heard the commands to come out.

Second, the tech who just crimped their air supply was the same guy about to cut them out of their bubble suits.  From behind.  With a razored “Exacto blade”, a box cutter.

Tensions could run high, but I never heard of violence against the “oxygen rustlers”.

About wormme

I've accepted that all of you are socially superior to me. But no pretending that any of you are rational.
This entry was posted in Atomic Anecdotes. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s