[ RadSafe ] ALARA

NeilKeeney at aol.com NeilKeeney at aol.com
Mon Jun 23 18:26:03 CDT 2008

Gary or Joe et al:
In direct response to your question, we unquestionably 'get  something' from 
ALARA.  I've primarily been associated with planning and  implementation of 
major projects at commercial nuclear facilities around the  country for the last 
couple of decades.  My observations and  conclusions closely align with what 
Dr. Lipton has indicated.
To take it a couple of steps further, the depth and degree of  planning and 
preparation necessary to achieve some of the key objectives of  ALARA, which, 
in the aggregate result in reduced collective dose may be  summarized in a few 
1.    There is generally less rework  necessary to be performed across our 
major project tasks because:
a.    We have workable plans that  were compelled to be developed in detail 
in part as the result of ALARA  considerations.  Some of these go so far as to 
specify the exact tools,  parts and pieces necessary to perform the work.  In 
some cases they call  for backup equipment or components.  These variables are 
based on the  lessons-learned for the activity.  I have often observed, in 
the 'old'  days, a work group exiting the work areas because they had the wrong 
bolt,  forgot a wrench, the tool broke, the wrong gasket; on and on.  That 
doesn't  happen anymore at a facility with a good ALARA program.  It simply  
results in greater efficiency all around which, in turn, optimizes the activity  
in terms of collective dose expenditure.
b.    We have superior scheduling that  takes into consideration work 
sequences that result in avoiding unnecessary  exposure.  For example, if it were not 
for the ALARA concept, there would  be nothing preventing any particular 
project management team from draining  the Steam Generator shell of secondary 
water (shielding) thus  exposing the workforce to 30,000 manhours of increased 
dose-rates on  the order of 2 - 3 times that of a filled shell.  An extreme 
example  but I've seen the results of premature drain-down.
c.    Via this concept, we have been able  to reconcile internal and external 
exposure via TEDE ALARA precepts.  This  took thousands of people out of 
respirators and also greatly increased worker  efficiency and, therefore improved 
production making us more reliable as an  industry.  This also compelled 
advances in the use and utility of  engineering controls for ventilation and 
Containment At The Source concepts for  contamination control.
2.    Enhanced proficiency in performing  difficult or complex tasks - 
previously discussed.  There's nothing  like achieving greater reality on the scope 
and magnitude of one's part in a  complex task.  It's a drill of the technique 
and methodology and is  consistent with other such practices across our 
society.  This is how a  process is debugged prior to actual execution and it's a 
valuable element of  reducing or avoiding dose.
I have observed the improvements across our industry  first-hand.  Work 
implementation used to be carried out in a cavalier  fashion without respect to 
collective dose.  Rework was routine.   Schedules ignored shielding installation, 
work group interferences with one  another, or water level management 
techniques (in PWRs).  Workers were  worked until they maxed-out on dose and then you 
got another guy and did the  same with him.  It was pretty ugly.
Well.  These are a few viewpoints about the matter.   There are many more but 
I've been accused in the past of being too verbose so I  will leave it at 
this for now.  
Neil Keeney
Currently at CR3 SGRP
In a message dated 6/23/2008 6:43:07 P.M. Eastern Daylight  Time, 
garyi at trinityphysics.com writes:


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 factor.

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

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fuel-efficient used cars.      (http://autos.aol.com/used?ncid=aolaut00050000000007)

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