Important aspects of any ALARA program are the measurement of beneficial
effects and the determination that important factors, such as economic impacts, the
time involved in accomplishing tasks, and the utilization of personnel, are being
optimized. To accomplish these objectives, it is necessary to have a written plan for
the ALARA program and high quality records of activities involving exposures to
workers, the public, and the environment. These permit comparisons with past
experiences and analysis of the recorded activities. In many cases, such studies of
the recorded activities not only confirm satisfactory execution of the work, but
reveal opportunities for future improvements.
One approach which works very well is the inclusion of an ALARA worksheet
along with the RWP. Such a worksheet should be prepared by an individual with
responsibilities for the work to be performed, a relatively detailed knowledge of the
radiological conditions, and knowledge of what is required to accomplish the task.
The worksheet should contain estimates of the time to complete the task and the
expected radiation doses that will be received. If any special engineered devices are
used to control or reduce personnel exposure, they should be noted on the ALARA
worksheet, along with any special instructions that they require. These worksheets
provide valuable information for analysis of the effectiveness of the ALARA
program for each job.
The technical aspects of ALARA programs include not only the standard
equipment regularly used in controlling dose to workers, the public, and the
environment, such as facility shielding, ventilation filters, installed and portable
temporarily. Special devices can be used to provide exposure control and/or
containment when it may not be practical without them. These include temporary
shields, tents or greenhouses, portable fans, ductwork and filters, and special
fixtures to hold highly radioactive materials requiring detailed inspections, repairs,
modification, or fabrication. Such devices can permit doing difficult work at low
radiation doses, which might not be possible otherwise.
Some of these special devices may have general application and can be kept on
hand for use as needed. In some cases, devices would have to be especially
fabricated for a specific task. Since this would ordinarily have a significant effect
on the cost of doing that job, the economic aspects of doing or not doing the job
would have to be carefully evaluated.