Decontamination is the removal of radioactive materials from locations where it is not wanted. If
removable contamination is discovered, decontamination is the normal means of control.
Normally accomplished using mild soap and lukewarm water per radiological control
More aggressive decontamination techniques are performed under the guidance of the
Radiological Controls Organization.
Equipment and area decontamination
Equipment and area decontamination is the removal of radioactive materials from tools,
equipment, floors, and other surfaces in the work area.
NOTE: In some situations, decontamination is not possible.
Economic considerations : Cost of time and labor to decontaminate the location may
outweigh the hazards of the contamination present.
Radiological conditions: Radiation dose rates or other radiological conditions may present
hazards which exceed the benefits of decontamination. The decontamination activity
may not be ALARA, in that it costs, rather than saves personnel dose.
Hazardous conditions: The physical or chemical conditions in the area may prevent entry
for decontamination purposes.
G. Types of Contamination Areas
Definitions and posting requirements
A Contamination Area is an area where removable contamination levels are, or are likely
to be, greater than the limits specified in 10 CFR 835 Appendix D, but do not exceed
100 times these levels. Posting requirements include:
"CAUTION, CONTAMINATION AREA"
High Contamination Area
A High Contamination Area is an area where contamination levels are, or are likely to be,
"DANGER or CAUTION, HIGH CONTAMINATION AREA"
Additionally, the posting may state:
"RWP REQUIRED FOR ENTRY"