Improving Engineering Controls at the Savannah River Site


R. L. Bates, T. W. Coffield, A. D. Freeman, N. D. Johnson, C. R. Reames, L. S. Smith


This article describes the efforts of the Savannah River Site's Radiological Operations Support Center (ROSC) to improve radiological engineering controls, reduce occupational dose, control the spread of contamination, and minimize the amount of radioactive waste generated. It describes efforts to communicate the ROSC's capabilities to organizations across the Savannah River Site. The formation of the ROSC is based upon the successful ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) Centers at other Department of Energy sites. The ROSC is tasked with evaluation and dissemination of new technologies and techniques for radiological and other industrial hazard reduction, waste minimization, and pollution prevention. The ROSC provides a centralized facility for personnel to observe and test equipment and tools designed to control contamination at the source, thereby minimizing the generation of airborne contamination and decreasing the need for personnel protective equipment and air sampling. Included are HEPA filtered vacuum cleaners and portable ventilation systems, shrouded vacuum tools for grinding or cutting, and extended hand tools. Specialized materials are available, such as specialized coatings for decontaminating or fixing contamination, temporary shielding, and expandable foam for D&D of pipe. The result is that radiation exposures are reduced and worker safety is improved while overall costs are reduced. Initial efforts were focused on the promotion of containment fabrication capabilities, use of new and improved personal protective equipment, and use of recyclable vs. disposable materials. Subsequent efforts have focused on personalized training and the availability of equipment and materials to capitalize on proven savings in waste minimization and pollution prevention. Future efforts will focus on promoting teamwork with other onsite groups and safe, efficient radiological support of accelerated cleanup and radiological risk reduction.


This abstract was presented at the 37th Annual Midyear Meeting, "Air Monitoring and Internal Dosimetry", Workplace Air Monitoring, Part 1 Session, 2/8/2004 - 2/11/2004, held in Augusta, GA.

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