[ RadSafe ] ALARA

garyi at trinityphysics.com garyi at trinityphysics.com
Mon Jun 23 12:44:51 CDT 2008


Did Alara produce the successful facility, or did the successful facility produce doses that 
were Alara?

In other words, if you went into a "dirty" plant and made them implement Alara, would the 
plant become a model facility?  Or would it still be "dirty" wherever scrutiny was lacking?  I 
agree that the correlation you recall exists, but I strongly doubt that Alara is the causative 

Unless you are willing to insist that Alara is a causative factor, your concluding statement is 
unfounded.  I assert that the well run facilities you recall would have been just as well run 
(perhaps better) if Alara had never been conceived, had never been made a part of the 
compliance requirement.

So I'm back to this:  Do we get anything from ALARA that we could
not have just by writing clear regs? 

And, this is the last I will post on this issue.  I am so busy keeping things Alara that I have no 
more time to think about whether this is a good policy.  :P

-Gary Isenhower

On 23 Jun 2008 at 9:36, WILLIAM LIPTON wrote:

Date sent:	Mon, 23 Jun 2008 09:36:07 -0700 (PDT)
From:	WILLIAM LIPTON <wlipton at sbcglobal.net>
Send reply to:	WILLIAM LIPTON <doctorbill at post.harvard.edu>
Subject:	Re: [ RadSafe ] ALARA
To:	garyi at trinityphysics.com, radsafe at radlab.nl,
	"Conklin, Al \(DOH\)" <Al.Conklin at DOH.WA.GOV>

My 26+ years of experience in nuclear power health physics indicates a positive correlation 
between a good ALARA program and a successful facility. I've found that the "dirty" plants 
are also poor performers. Although the ALARA concept is sometimes misused, it usually 
consists of the planned and systematic application of common sense. Reasonable 
measures to reduce employee and public dose usually lead to reasonable measures to 
assure a well run process. Two specific examples:

(a) training - To prepare for maintenance work on high dose rate systems, it is a common 
practice to train on a cold mockup.This assures that the workers are near the top of the 
learning curve when they have to do it for real. This is a good practice for other reasons, 
since mistakes can lead to equipment damage or worse. Is the dose saving a byproduct of 
good maintenance or the converse? Your choice.

(b) distribution of work - In addition to reducing collective dose, the ALARA concept requires 
that this dose be as evenly distributed as "reasonably achievable" among the labor pool.This 
is also a good practice for other reasons. I've found that lazy management will come to 
depend on a few individuals to workcertain jobs. This is a poor practice, since additional 
workers may identify ways of improving the work scope, and an organization often gets into 
trouble when the key employee is unavailable. A well run ALARA program prevents this.

It is a serious mistake tolook atALARA as a waste of resources with no benefits.Rather, 
itis just one aspect of a well run facility.

Bill Lipton
It's not about dose, it's about trust.

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