Radiation workers are often assigned tasks that conceivably could expose them to
radioactive material. It is not sufficient to rely exclusively on equipment design to
minimize contamination and exposure in the workplace. A radiation protection
program shall include both monitoring of the workers (discussed in Section 4.3) and
monitoring of the conditions in the workplace (10 CFR 835 Subpart E). Both
functions are essential to a good radiation monitoring program.
Continuous radiation monitoring should be provided during the periods of high or
unusual risk associated with the work in the area. Periods of high or unusual risk
include the potential or actual breaching of the integrity of the glove-box or
associated systems, including such maintenance as replacement of panels, glove
changes, bag-out operations, replacement of filters, or repair of vacuum systems.
Work that involves the use of temporary enclosures (greenhouses or glovebags) may
also be provided with continuous coverage by an RCT, if the hazard is sufficient to
warrant such measures. For decommissioning, most activities will be new, unique,
and have no historical precedent. Consequently, high and unusual risks may become
the norm and the use of temporary controls and continuous coverage the routine.
Monitoring of the workplace is an essential element of every routine surveillance
program. It can be effectively accomplished using any or all of the techniques that are
discussed in this section. The rigor with which all of the various elements of a
radiation monitoring program are applied should be tailored to meet the needs of the
individual work areas and should depend on the kind and quantity of radioactive
material present and its potential for dispersion. Each program should be designed to
meet existing needs, but also should be flexible to allow for incorporation of the
possible advantages to be provided by the various available monitoring practices.
Monitoring practices include, but are not limited, to the following:
-- Contamination surveys of the workplace
-- Release surveys
-- External exposure surveys
-- Airborne contamination surveys
-- Routine surveillance by an RCT.