[ RadSafe ] Looking for guidance on when to post a "SoilContamination Area"

Glenn R. Marshall GRMarshall at philotechnics.com
Tue Apr 4 08:39:14 CDT 2006


Since a soil contamination area is not defined by regulations, some
leeway is available.  Standard guidance (reference SLAC and Pantex
documents available on the internet) is to post a soil contamination
area if the concentration of radioactivity exceeds, or is likely to
exceed, the soil release criteria of 10 CFR 834 or DOE Order 5400.5.
Typically an RWP is not needed to enter a soil CA unless intrusive
activities are planned.  

If you reasonably expect equipment to become contaminated above site
limits, then you have a contamination area; my suggestion would be to
post as such and specify appropriate controls in an RWP.

Glenn Marshall, CHP
Health Physicist
Radiation Safety Officer
Philotechnics, Ltd.

-----Original Message-----
From: Evers, William C. [mailto:WILLIAM.C.EVERS at saic.com] 
Sent: Monday, April 03, 2006 4:18 PM
To: radsafe at radlab.nl
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Looking for guidance on when to post a
"SoilContamination Area"

I work for a company that routinely does work sampling in soil
I am working on a RWP for soil sampling in potentially contaminated
I have some historical data showing elevated soil concentrations in
areas (Ra-226, Th-230, and U-238).  Our site limits on surface
are 20 dpm alpha, and 100 dpm beta.  My concern is that while sampling
may encounter areas where the elevated soil concentrations may lead to
surface contamination in excess of our site limits.  I would like to
know if
this could happen prior to sampling so I could have the area posted as a
"Contamination Area".

So my question is this: Is there an industry standard action level for
contamination that can/will lead to surface contamination?  Is there an
industry standard level where posting a "Contamination Area" becomes

Has anyone with a similar program ever encountered a situation like this
before?  If so, any feedback would be greatly appreciated.  I would like
compare our procedures to other programs.  Thank you.


W. Clark Evers-



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