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MARSSIM-Based Graded Approach For Posting And Controlling Areas Containing Matrixed Contamination In Soil

Arana, Joel D.

Operational Topic

Controlling outdoor areas with radioactive contamination matrixed into the soil presents unique challenges to effective radiological control and environmental restoration programs. These outdoor areas, classified as either soil contamination areas (SCAs) or underground radioactive material areas (URMAs) based on the depth distribution of the contamination, constitute a large portion of the 1,517 km2 (586 mi2) Hanford Site in south-central Washington state. One of the challenges in dealing with these areas is the paucity of regulatory and/or interpretive guidance, particularly with 10 CFR 835, “Occupational Radiation Protection,” which does not address SCAs or URMAs. This leads to differing interpretations of applicable regulatory requirements and has caused inconsistency among the programs of various Hanford contractors. To overcome these shortfalls, the Hanford Site Environmental Restoration Contractor (ERC) developed a graded approach for posting and controlling SCAs and URMAs that is based on principles of the Multi-Agency Radiation Survey and Site Investigation Manual. This approach provides an additional degree of worker protection that exceeds the requirements of 10 CFR 835. Each step in this graded approach leads to effective environmental restoration of the Hanford Site.

Use of MARSSIM’s graded approach for posting and controlling contaminated soil areas.

* Bechtel Hanford, Inc., 3350 George Washington Way, Richland, WA 99352.

Since the time this article was originally written, the Department of Energy, Richland Operations (DOE-RL), has issued the Hanford Radiological Health and Safety Document. This document established a set of supplemental radiological health and safety requirements to maintain consistency for the Hanford Site contractors. This document resulted in several minor changes to the ERC’s SCA and URMA programs that are not reflected in this article.

© 2003 by the Health Physics Society