10.0 DECONTAMINATION AND DECOMMISSIONING
At the end of the useful life of a facility, activities are undertaken to restore the facility to
non-contaminated status and permit its unrestricted use. These activities are typically
termed decontamination and decommissioning (D&D).
Although plutonium facilities are no longer useful and operational activities are no longer
conducted, measures must be continued to control the residual radioactivity. The decision
may be made to undertake a D&D program to minimize or eliminate long-term institutional
control. This may be done in a variety of ways, most of which may be termed D&D. The
exception is converting the facility to some other nuclear use. With the elimination of the
DOE weapons production mission, more plutonium-contaminated facilities will require
D&D in the near future.
This chapter provides guidance on establishing and implementing an effective D&D
program. Major topic areas include regulations and standards, design features, D&D
program, D&D techniques, and D&D experience. This chapter concentrates on the
radiation-protection aspects of D&D at plutonium-contaminated DOE facilities.
10.1 REGULATIONS AND STANDARDS
The standards that apply to the decommissioning of a plutonium-contaminated facility
include virtually all of those that were applicable during facility operations, (e.g., 10 CFR
835, DOE P 450.1 and DOE Order 440.1a) plus some additional ones such as 10 CFR
835.1002(d). The occupational safety and radiation dose limits, safety management
requirements, radioactive and hazardous chemical disposal regulations, and transportation
requirements are unaffected by the activity to which they apply.
No single DOE regulation covers all D&D requirements due to the wide variety of issues
encompassed by D&D. These issues include project management, environmental
surveillance, health and safety of workers and the public, engineering design,
characterization survey techniques, D&D techniques, waste management, and waste
transport. The primary DOE Orders pertaining to D&D activities are DOE Order 4700.1,
Lifecycle Asset Management (DOE, 1998d); DOE Order 5400.5, Ch. 2, Radiation
Protection of the Public and Environment (DOE, 1993c; DOE Order 231.1, Environment
Safety and Health Reporting (DOE, 1996e); DOE Order 420.1A, Facility Safety (DOE,
2002a). The DOE operations offices may have implementation procedures corresponding to
these Orders that which contractors will also need to comply.
DOE Order 430.1A, Lifecycle Asset Management (DOE, 1998d), provides the
requirements to ensure a disciplined, systematic, and coordinated approach to project
management. All projects, including D&D projects, should have clearly defined goals and
objectives that support program requirements. Specific objectives include (1) promoting
project execution that meets technical, schedule, and cost objectives, (2) meeting all
applicable environmental, health and safety, and quality assurance requirements, and (3)
avoiding a commitment of major resources before project definition. Good program
management techniques should consider D&D costs as part of the lifecycle cost and select
a tentative D&D method during the facility design phase.