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Independent verification

ORISE techinician performs environmental scanning

The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) performs independent environmental assessments and verification to determine the effectiveness of radiological cleanup at decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) projects across the United States. Since 1980, ORISE has performed independent verification at more than 500 sites in 42 states and the District of Columbia.

As the primary independent verification contractor for all U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) cleanup projects and the only verification contractor for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), we validate that soil, water and structures are within established state and federal release criteria, and can be safely designated for public use.

Independent evaluation of final site conditions and validation of contractors’ final status survey procedures increases the probability of complete remediation and documentation. To provide an unbiased analysis of the D&D process, ORISE uses a combination of field and laboratory capabilities to control all aspects and phases of the radiological survey process. Our team of qualified radiological experts follows systematic procedures to collect environmental samples using specialized equipment, including radiation detectors and monitors, spectrometers and Global Positioning Systems (GPS).

Environmental samples are brought to our on-site radiochemistry laboratory for thorough analysis. In the event that field examinations indicate that contaminants remain above acceptable levels, ORISE makes recommendations to bring the site into regulatory compliance.

Benefits of independent environmental assessment and verification:

  • Offers a cost-effective way to provide assurance that the site was successfully remediated to the risk-based release criteria.
  • Greatly enhances public credibility and builds stakeholder trust in environmental cleanup.
  • Provides consistency among multiple D&D projects at a particular site.
  • Ensures D&D plans and reports are technically sound.
  • Helps to prevent an improper release of property that is not in regulatory compliance.

Featured publication

The Value of Independence white paper

The Value of Independence, an ORISE white paper on the impact of DOE Order 458.1 and the requirement for independent verification of nuclear cleanup projects. (PDF, 539K)

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