skip to main content


Title: Lessons learned on the presentation of scan data

Technicians performed a radiological survey of a surplus metal tank to support disposition planning at an Oak Ridge, Tennessee site. The survey included radiation scans to identify contamination and, if identified, define the boundary and magnitude of contamination. Fixed-point 1-minute measurements were also collected at randomly selected locations for comparison against the site's free release limit of 5,000 disintegrations per minute per 100 cm² (dpm/100 cm²) (0.83 Bq/cm²). Scan data were recorded using a data logger as a means to document surveyor observation - logged data captured at 1-second intervals and converted to counts per minute (cpm) by the data logger software were presented in the project report. Both the qualitative scan data (in cpm) and the quantitative direct measurement (in dpm/100 cm²) were reported for completeness, so stakeholders had all available information to support disposition decisions. However, a new stakeholder - introduced to the project at the reporting phase of work - used the instrument efficiency and background data to convert the scan data from cpm to dpm/100 cm², then compared the converted results to the site limit. Many of the converted values exceeded 5,000 dpm/100 cm². This resulted in delays in tank disposition and additional project costs whichmore » could have been avoided if the proper use and interpretation of scan data, and implications of radon progeny buildup on oxidized metal surfaces, had been better communicated.« less
 [1] ;  [1]
  1. Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Health Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 109; Journal Issue: 3, Suppl. 3; Journal ID: ISSN 0017-9078
Health Physics Society
Research Org:
Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Environmental Management (EM)
Country of Publication:
United States
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; qualitative scan data; communications; lessons learned
OSTI Identifier: