Section V of DOE Order 5400.5, Ch.2, Radiation Protection of the Public and Environment
(DOE, 1993c), provides radiological protection requirements and guidelines for cleanup of
residual radioactive material and management of the resulting wastes and residues and
release of property. This DOE Order establishes a basic public dose limit for exposure to
residual radioactive material (in addition to naturally occurring "background" exposures) of
a 100-mrem (1-mSv) effective dose equivalent in a year. A more detailed discussion is
presented below in Section 10.1.3.
DOE O 420.1A, Facility Safety (DOE, 2002a), establishes facility safety requirements
related to: nuclear safety design, criticality safety, fire protection and natural phenomena
DOE O 231.1 Environment, Safety and Health Reporting (DOE, 1996e), ensures collection
and reporting of information on environment, safety and health that is required by law or
regulation to be collected, or that is essential for evaluating DOE operations and identifying
opportunities for improvement needed for planning purposes within the DOE.
10.1.1 Other Regulations
The D&D of most plutonium-contaminated facilities will involve cleanup of a
combination of radioactive wastes, hazardous wastes, and mixed wastes. Some
other Federal regulations not already discussed that are applicable to the cleanup
and disposal of these wastes are summarized in this section along with the DOE
guidance on implementation. This is not an all inclusive list. It is the facility
responsibility to identify applicable requirements and ensure compliance.
-- National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (USC, 1970) and 40 CFR 1500
- This act established a national policy to ensure that environmental factors are
considered in any Federal agency's planning and decision making. DOE O
451.1B, National Environmental Policy Act Compliance Program (DOE,
2001d), defines DOE responsibilities and procedures to implement NEPA. The
decommissioning of a DOE plutonium facility will require a determination of
whether or not the action is a "major or significant government action
adversely affecting the environment" in accordance with NEPA. If it qualifies
as such an action, an environmental assessment (EA) or environmental impact
statement (EIS) will be required. An EA or EIS will need to discuss the amount
of material that will remain onsite and its effect, in addition to addressing the
alternatives. The alternatives will include retaining radioactive material onsite
under DOE control, cleaning the site to a level that would be acceptable for
unrestricted release, and the null or no-action alternative of "walking away"
from the site. If the action does not require an EA or EIS, either because the
possible adverse effects are insignificant or because decommissioning was
adequately addressed in a preoperational or other EA or EIS, then the
decommissioning can proceed in accordance with the information contained in
other applicable regulations.