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MARSSIM vs. DOE Order 5400.5: The Final Status Survey Plan at the Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site

Roberts, Sarah J.; Stevens, Jeff

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A challenge unique to the decommissioning of Department of Energy (DOE) facilities involves the compromise between the existing and newly recommended standards for the unrestricted release of property and materials. The Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site (RFETS) is currently decommissioning numerous plutonium contaminated facilities. The default DOE standard for unrestricted release, Order 5400.5, defines surface activity guidelines as averaged over a 1-square-meter area with a maximum value defined for any given 100-square-centimeter area. While the Order was initially developed to release property and materials from an operating site, it is restrictive in its use when performing Final Status Survey and, to date, no new complex wide standard has been developed. However, the RFETS stakeholders selected the MARSSIM, which provides a progressive method to demonstrate compliance with the defined “dose-based” limits for a specific site, as the governing document in developing a final survey method. The end result is a hybrid final status survey plan that incorporates the requirements of both documents. This plan represents several years of development and negotiation between the contractor, the DOE, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the Rocky Flats stakeholders, and other interested parties.

MARSSIM was used to demonstrate compliance with the existing DOE Order 5400.5 limits in decommissioning plutonium contaminated facilities.

* Rocky Flats Closure Project, Colorado

© 2003 by the Health Physics Society