REGULATIONS AND STANDARDS
Nuclear criticality safety program requirements for DOE facilities are presented in DOE O
420.1A, Facility Safety (DOE, 2002a). The objectives for nuclear criticality safety in the
Order are to establish nuclear criticality safety requirements. Specifically, these
requirements shall (DOE Order 420.1A, Section 4.3) ensure that:
Criticality safety is comprehensively addressed and receives an objective review,
with all identified risks reduced to acceptably low levels and management
authorization of the operation is documented.
The public, workers, property, both government and private, the environment, and
essential operations are protected from the effects of a criticality accident.
DOE Order 420.1A incorporates the following American Nuclear Society ANSI/ANS
Criticality Safety Standards as requirements for DOE nuclear criticality safety programs. It
may be noted however, that DOE Order 420.1A modifies certain sections of ANSI/ANS
8.1, 8.3, 8.5 and 8.7. This is a partial listing of incorporated standards that are of the most
interest to radiation protection personnel:
-- ANSI/ANS-8.1, Nuclear Criticality Safety in Operations with Fissionable Materials
Outside Reactors (ANSI, 1983b). This standard provides the basic criteria and limits
for operations with fissionable materials outside reactors except for critical
experiments. The standard also provides requirements for establishing the validity and
the areas of applicability of any calculational method used in assessing nuclear
criticality safety. It should be noted that the Order modifies certain paragraphs of the
-- ANSI/ANS-8.3, Criticality Accident Alarm System (ANSI, 1986a). This standard
provides the performance criteria for the location, selection, design, operation, and
testing of nuclear criticality detection and alarm systems.
-- ANSI/ANS-8.5, Use of Borosilicate-Glass Raschig Rings as a Neutron Absorber in
Solutions of Fissile Material (ANSI, 1986c). This standard describes the chemical and
physical environment for the usage, properties of the rings and packed vessels,
maintenance and test procedures, and criticality limits for solutions containing fissile
-- ANSI/ANS-8.7, Guide for Nuclear Criticality Safety in the Storage of Fissile Materials
(ANSI, 1975a). This standard provides mass and spacing limits for the storage of,
among other fissile materials, plutonium in both oxide and metallic forms.