Radiological work permits or technical work documents should include provisions to control contamination at the
source to minimize the amount of decontamination needed.
Work preplanning should include consideration of the handling, temporary storage, and decontamination of
materials, tools, and equipment.
Decontamination activities should be controlled to prevent the spread of contamination.
Water and steam are the preferred decontamination agents. Other cleaning agents should be selected based upon
their effectiveness, hazardous properties, amount of waste generated, and ease of disposal.
Facility line management should be responsible for directing decontamination efforts.
464 Vacuum Cleaners and Portable Air-Handling Equipment
Improper use of vacuum cleaners and portable air-handling equipment may result in the generation of airborne
radioactivity, removable contamination, or high dose rates.
Vacuum cleaners and portable air-handling equipment used in areas established to control removable surface
contamination or airborne radioactivity (except areas where only tritium is present) should be equipped with
High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters. If the material to be vacuumed is wet enough to preclude
resuspension, then HEPA filters are not necessary.
HEPA filters used in vacuum cleaners and portable air-handling equipment should meet the applicable efficiency
and construction requirements for the devices in which they are installed. The maximum flow rate of the device
should not exceed the flow rate at which the HEPA filter was efficiency tested. In addition, the device should be
leak tested prior to initial use, when units have undergone any type of service that may compromise the integrity of
the HEPA filter or its sealing surfaces, and annually. Leak tests are conducted by injecting DOP or equivalent
aerosols into the inlet of the device and measuring the DOP concentration at the inlet and outlet of the device.
Maintenance and testing should be conducted in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions or site-specific
procedures that meet the manufacturer's minimum requirements.
Appropriate standards for system design, construction, maintenance, and testing are provided in ASME N509 and
N510, and ASME AG-1, Code on Nuclear Air and Gas Treatment. Several of the DOE 3020 series Technical
Standards (e.g., DOE-STD-3020, 3022, 3025, & 3026) provide additional information applicable to HEPA-filtered
Vacuum cleaners used for radiological work should be:
Marked and labeled in accordance with Article 412
Controlled by written work authorizations
Controlled to prevent unauthorized use
Designed to ensure HEPA filter integrity under conditions of use
Constructed and controlled to prevent unauthorized or accidental access to the inner surfaces of the vacuum.
Radiation and contamination surveys should be performed periodically for vacuum cleaners in use and labels on
these units should be updated. The frequency of radiation surveys should depend on the specific use of the vacuum