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Title: DOE 2012 Occupational Radiation Exposure October 2013

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Analysis within the Office of Health, Safety and Security (HSS) publishes the annual DOE Occupational Radiation Exposure Report to provide an overview of the status of radiation protection practices at DOE (including the National Nuclear Security Administration [NNSA]). The DOE 2012 Occupational Radiation Exposure Report provides an evaluation of DOE-wide performance regarding compliance with Title 10, Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.), Part 835, Occupational Radiation Protection dose limits and as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA) process requirements. In addition, the report provides data to DOE organizations responsible for developing policies for protection of individuals from the adverse health effects of radiation. The report provides a summary and an analysis of occupational radiation exposure information from the monitoring of individuals involved in DOE activities. Over the past 5-year period, the occupational radiation exposure information is analyzed in terms of aggregate data, dose to individuals, and dose by site. As an indicator of the overall amount of radiation dose received during the conduct of operations at DOE, the report includes information on collective total effective dose (TED). The TED is comprised of the effective dose (ED) from external sources, which includes neutron and photonmore » radiation, and the internal committed effective dose (CED), which results from the intake of radioactive material into the body. The collective ED from photon exposure decreased by 23% between 2011 and 2012, while the neutron dose increased by 5%. The internal dose components of the collective TED decreased by 7%. Over the past 5-year period, 99.99% of the individuals receiving measurable TED have received doses below the 2 roentgen equivalent in man (rems) (20 millisievert [mSv]) TED administrative control level (ACL), which is well below the DOE regulatory limit of 5 rems (50 mSv) TED annually. The occupational radiation exposure records show that in 2012, DOE facilities continued to comply with DOE dose limits and ACLs and worked to minimize exposure to individuals. The DOE collective TED decreased 17.1% from 2011 to 2012. The collective TED decreased at three of the five sites with the largest collective TED. u Idaho Site – Collective dose reductions were achieved as a result of continuing improvements at the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project (AMWTP) through the planning of drum movements that reduced the number of times a container is handled; placement of waste containers that created highradiation areas in a centralized location; and increased worker awareness of high-dose rate areas. In addition, Idaho had the largest decrease in the total number of workers with measurable TED (1,143 fewer workers). u Hanford Site (Hanford) – An overall reduction of decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) activities at the Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) and Transuranic (TRU) retrieval activities resulted in collective dose reductions. u Savannah River Site (SRS) – Reductions were achieved through ALARA initiatives employed site wide. The Solid Waste Management Facility used extended specialty tools, cameras and lead shield walls to facilitate removal of drums. These tools and techniques reduce exposure time through improved efficiency, increase distance from the source of radiation by remote monitoring, shield the workers to lower the dose rate, and reduce the potential for contamination and release of material through repacking of waste. Overall, from 2011 to 2012, there was a 19% decrease in the number of workers with measurable dose. Furthermore, due to a slight decrease in both the DOE workforce (7%) and monitored workers (10%), the ratio of workers with measurable doses to monitored workers decreased to 13%. Another primary indicator of the level of radiation exposure covered in this report is the average measurable dose, which normalizes the collective dose over the population of workers who actually received a measurable dose. The average measurable TED increased by 3% from 2011 to 2012. Additional analyses show that the dose distribution in 2012 was similar to the distribution in 2011. In 2012, 13% of the monitored workers received a measurable TED and the average measurable TED, 0.069 rem, was less than 2% of the DOE limit. From 2011 to 2012, the collective TED and the number of individuals with measurable TED decreased 17.1% and 19%, respectively. These decreases were mainly due to an overall reduction of D&D activities at the PFP and TRU retrieval activities at Hanford; a 78% decrease in the number of targeted waste drums that were processed at the Idaho Site’s Accelerated Retrieval Project (ARP) from 5,566 drums in 2011 to a total of 1,211 drums processed in 2012; and ALARA initiatives employed site wide at SRS. In addition, the decreases were the result of decreased American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) activities and continuing D&D, particularly at the DOE sites that comprise the majority of DOE collective dose. Over the past 5 years, the size of the monitored workforce has remained at a fairly stable level (within 12%), while the collective dose has varied up to 37%. No reported doses exceeded the DOE occupational limit of 5 rems TED in 2012 and no reported doses exceeded the DOE ACL of 2 rems TED.« less
  1. US Dept. of Energy, Washington, DC (United States). Office of Health, Safety and Security
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Health, Safety, and Security (HSS)
Country of Publication:
United States