Use of Routine Environmental Monitoring Data to Establish a Dose-based Compliance System for a Low-level Radioactive Waste Disposal Site

Academic Article


  • A dose-based compliance methodology was developed for Waste Control Specialists, LLC, low-level radioactive waste facility in Andrews, Texas, that allows routine environmental measurement data to be evaluated not only at the end of a year to determine regulatory compliance, but also throughout the year as new data become available, providing a continuous assessment of the facility. The first step in the methodology is a screening step to determine the potential presence of site emissions in the environment, and screening levels are established for each environmental media sampled. The screening accounts for spatial variations observed in background for soil and temporal fluctuations observed in background for air. For groundwater, the natural activity concentrations in groundwater wells at the facility are highly variable, and therefore the methodology uses ratios for screening levels. The methodology compares the ratio of gross alpha to 234U + 238U to identify potentially abnormal alpha activity and the ratio of 235U to 238U to identify the potential presence of depleted uranium. Compliance evaluation is conducted for any samples that fail the screening step. Compliance evaluation uses the radionuclide-specific measurements to first determine (1) if the dose exceeds the background dose and if so, (2) the dose consequences, so that the appropriate investigation or action occurs. The compliance evaluation is applied to all environmental samples throughout the year and on an annual basis to determine regulatory compliance. The methodology is implemented in a cloud-based software application that is also made accessible to the regulator. The benefits of the methodology over the existing system are presented.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Rood AS; Grogan HA; Mohler HJ; Rocco JR; Caffrey EA; Mangini C; Cartwright J; Matthews T; Shaw C; Packard ME
  • Start Page

  • 1
  • End Page

  • 17
  • Volume

  • 118
  • Issue

  • 1