-- Source Reduction. Source reduction should concentration on minimizing or
eliminating the sources of radiation exposure. Reducing the number of areas
reduction goals. Where the presence of nonradiological hazardous materials
results in mixed waste, the removal of the hazardous material may have
ALARA benefits by reducing the waste classification. Such changes may also
reduce exposure at a later time by eliminating the need to store or further treat
the waste. In these cases, eliminating the hazardous material may be an
appropriate source-reduction ALARA goal.
-- Administrative. Administrative goals typically encompass training, program
improvements, procedure revision, or other administrative-type activities.
Administrative goals are generally qualitative, so it is difficult to develop
endpoints for them. Specific efforts must be made to ensure that adequate
closure mechanisms exist for administrative goals.
During all phases of ALARA goal-setting, the facility health physics personnel
should be intimately involved in providing advice and expertise on ALARA
When addressing exposure reduction, a cost/benefit analysis should be made to
determine the real cost of implementing a dose reduction plan. The Health Physics
Manual of Good Practices for Reducing Exposures to Levels that are as Low as
Reasonably Achievable (Munson et al., 1988), provides an excellent methodology
for conducting a cost/benefit analysis by health physics personnel.
The application of ALARA principles to the performance of work in the field is the
main objective of any ALARA program. ALARA design, engineering, planning,
and administration come to fruition in maintaining exposures ALARA to workers
and the public. The operational application of ALARA requires cooperation and
coordination of many functional groups, including radiation protection, operations,
maintenance, planning and scheduling, training, engineering, and administration.
The primary responsibility for controlling radiation exposure during operations
rests with the individual and his/her immediate supervisor. The support functions
provide the training, resources, guidance, and measurements, but it is in the
application that the effectiveness of an ALARA program is realized. Operational
measures for controlling exposure must be applied to assure that any work with
radioactive materials is carried out in the safest manner reasonable. Both
engineered and administrative control measures should be used for limiting
Engineered controls should be utilized whenever possible. In addition, periodic
verification of the continued effectiveness of these controls should be performed by
facility health physics personnel. Ventilation and filtration systems should be
routinely checked and inspected to assure that operation is maintained within the
design criteria. The integrity of shielding, the reliability of equipment, and the
calibration of instruments should likewise be routinely verified.
Although administrative controls are not an adequate substitute for engineered
features, they are necessary. They are a part of the management systems developed