United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Interpretation of Bioassay Measurements (NUREG/CR-4884, BNL-NUREG-52063)

On this page:

Download complete document

Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: June 1987
Date Published:
July 1987

Prepared by:
Edward T, Lessard, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York
Xia Yihua, Institute of Atomic Energy, Beijing, People's Republic of China
Kenneth W. Skrable, University of Lowell, Lowell, Massachusetts
George E. Chabot, University of Lowell, Lowell, Massachusetts
Clayton S. French, University of Lowell, Lowell, Massachusetts
Thomas R. Labone, University of Lowell, Lowell, Massachusetts
John R. Johnson, Chalk River Nuclear Laboratory, Ontario, Canada
Darrell R. Fisher, Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratory, Richland, Washington
Richard Belanger, Science Applications International Corporation, San Diego, California
Joyce Landmann Lipsztein, Commissao Nacional de Energia Nuclear, Sao Paulo, Brazil

NRC Project Managers – B.G. Brooks and A. Brodsky

Prepared for:
Division of Regulatory Applications
Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555
NRC FIN A-3289

Availability Notice


This is a comprehensive manual describing how to compute intakes from both in-vivo and in-vitro bioassay measurements. To date, interpretations of intake have been inconsistent, particularly in the early phases after an accidental intake. This manual is aimed at completely describing a consistent approach and instructing others on how to compute intakes and committed organ dose equivalents. Tables for the interpretation of bioassay results are compiled for several hundred radionuclides. Measurements which employ a whole-body counter, a thyroid counter, a lung counter, or measurements on excreta can be converted into estimates of intake based on the tables presented in the appendices. The values in the tables were determined by using lung, gastrointestinal tract and systemic retention models published by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP79). In a few cases, pseudo-retention functions, organ retention functions, and excretion functions were used to generate the tabulated values. The biological and radiological input parameters are included in an appendix, and a description of the mathematical approach that was used to derive the tabulated data is included in the methods section. Calculations for various particle sizes are addressed along with methods to interpret multiple or continuous exposures. Examples of use are based on actual bioassay measurements following accidental intakes, including tritium, Mn–54, Co–60, Sr–90, Nb–95, radioiodines, Cs–137, Ce–141, Ce–144, U–233, U–Nat, and Am–241.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Wednesday, September 06, 2017