Importance of Identification, Quantification and Inclusion of Residual Contamination during Downgrade Activities in Nuclear Facilities
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Type:  Lessons Learned

Publisher:  Argonne National Laboratory (Lemont, IL), Z - Not Used (use Lemont, IL Instead - was Argonne, IL )

Published As:  Public

Date: 

Topics:  Nuclear/Nuclear Safety, Engineering, Radiation Protection, Deactivation and Decommissioning, Glovebox & Containment Systems

Following a series of assessments and evaluations examining inventory and waste generation from the period beginning in 2008 to present, Argonne discovered that a nuclear facility had been downgraded in 2008 to a radiological facility in error. This discovery was the result of the review of waste characterization data from material being removed from two gloveboxes and some related facility features including ancillary piping and duct work. The sum total of the material that was removed as part of this project was greater than the Hazard Category 3 Sum of the Fractions.

Lessons Learned: When preparing and planning the de-inventory and downgrade of a nuclear facility, especially those that have remained dormant for any period of time, it is imperative that planning include detailed process knowledge coupled with appropriate confirmatory measurement and identification of residual contamination within the facility. The residual contamination needs to be included into the overall inventory for the facility categorization. This process is particularly challenging with legacy facilities which may have little written background information due to the types of operations conducted, limited documented process knowledge and through attrition have limited accessibility of former staff.

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