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D&D (Decontamination & Decommissioning)

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Thanks Moke,  This is very helpful.  We are excited that we can assess the wealth of real knowledge from folks like you who have experience with these issues.


Hi SamA,

Couple more items to chew on.

What you need to be carefull of is the detection process using handheld intrumentation.

You have to nail down the Scan MDC numbers and have an expert assist you. One item that many still do not understand is the fact that there are some major flaws with the MDA concept and this expert should account for that when determining Scan MDC rates. There is a paper publiched by Dr. Marty Jamieson that provides great information.

I now understand that many so called contact measurements using check sources are not at contact but further away than anticipated and must be accounted for. You will have a much better efficiency the traditional way vice the other. This is the same concept that was found at San Onofre dealing with Fuel Fragments and/or Hot Particles. They instituted a correction factor of 250! NCRP 106! Great job by that team!

Anyway, the next item is instrumentation. If you are dealing with TRU (Pu-239/Neptunium etc..) one may consider a Fiddler. If looking for Cesium and Cobalt a 2" x 2" NaI(Tl) may suffice. Right tool for the right isotope.

Another important item is communication. If you will be shipping and/or processing waste, be sure that you invite all of your key players upfront rather than soliciting their services during the 11 th hour of the game.

A big key too is the head of any D&D project. If your head person is a know it all, your project is doomed because it is physically impossible. A great leader is the type of person that can make "Ordinary People Do Extraordinary Things!"

Many projects will use homegrown personnel which is fine yet there needs to be a nice mix of personnel to see this type of project through. When you hire personnel one should ask how many licenses were terminated and were they under budget? Of great importance is their past projects Safety Record too. A big key to D&D success is for an entity to meet Budget, Schedule while being Compliant.

This is where it starts to get tricky. If you don't walk the talk you are cooked! Many talk an great game yet they don't live it. Meeting the above mentioned objectives is the toughest thing I have ever attempted in my life. It's a nightmare yet it can be done. Many must not be afraid of friendship or losing their jobs. It requires a Team Effort and Passion. It will make your job 100 times harder up front yet once the system is inplace and authorized by the highest in Management; Things will flow gracefully yet there must be constant and continual evaluation or self assessment of your system.

This leads me to another important item being the word system. Everything or thought must be in a systemmatic fashion or simply the cradle to grave concept. Also having a plan B, C & D. The word Contingency is ever so important. Do you possess two or three? It's the nuclear way! A systemmatic mentality will get you through nine out of ten times providing that the contingencies are practical. This person providing contingencies (RADCON) should be an expert.

I'll post other concerns when time permits.

Have an Awesome Day!

Moke ;D


Thanks for sharing some great  tidbits that often only experience teachs folks in the D&D game. 

You might also try NUREG-1628 - FAQ on D&D that NRC put together some years ago - still relevant and good for the public and operators.  Try also a recent 2002 (?) NRC notice on experiences in D&D and LTP - lots of lessons learned from the regulators side there.

Are you up at BNL?  Do you know Dean Atchison?

Decomm Man 8)

Learn all you can about the Data Life Cycle including data quality objective (DQO) and data quality assessment (DQA) processes.  MARSSIM is a good start.  There are several EPA documents out there discussing DQOs and DQAs (EPA 600 R-96 055 DQO Process, EPA 600 R-96 084 Practical Methods for Data Assessment).

Communicate with your stakeholders (DOE/USNRC, State and Local Officials) soon and frequently.  See if there are differences in radiological cleanup criteria.

Are you doing just radiological release or is the intent to transfer the property?  That might add additional EPA and local clean up standards.  Is a combined risk assessment from all constituents of concern (rad and non-rad) required?

Dose modelling to establish your release criteria is a big ticket item.  Do you have just surface contamination (15 cm depth), subsurface contamination, groundwater contamination or some combination of the three?  What are your radiological constituents of concern?  How's your hard-to-detect (HTD) situation, i.e., do you have lot's of H-3, Ni-63, C-14, Sr-90, Pu-241? 

Are buildings, structures and components involved?  You need to make a commerical decision to either whack and pack (rip and ship) or survey in place.  If you survey in place, do you intend to remove or leave buildings in place?  That will impact dose modelling as to whether you use the resident farmer or building occupancy scenarios.

How well have you characterized your site?  Do you have sufficient data to determine areas impacted by site operations and magnitude of remediation?  Do you have a good understanding of the variability of the contaminents?

Lot of stuff, man, ehh?

Finally, and I'm not being facious here, expect a cold shoulder should one of your questions be, "Do you do fixed price, turn-key D&D?".  Been there.

I believe the old expression - 'Just when you thought the hard part was over'  best sums up a new persons wadeing into it for the first time.  8)

For a great summary of whats been learned to this point in the D&D arena - check out the recently issued NUREG 1757 Volumes 1-3 - just a little lite reading - each volume is about 500-600 pages.  Lessons Learned are very good - see Volume 2, Appendix O.


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