Verification Surveys Independent assessments determine the effectiveness of radiological cleanup

The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education performs independent environmental assessments and verification to determine the effectiveness of radiological cleanup at decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) projects around the world.

Using the Multi-Agency Radiation Survey and Site Investigation Manual (MARSSIM), which outlines methods for planning, implementing and evaluating radiological surveys to best meet dose- or risk-based regulations, ORISE serves as the key independent verification contractor for U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) cleanup projects and the only verification contractor for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). In this role, ORISE verification activities assures that soil, water and structures satisfy approved release guidelines prior to release from controls.

Independent evaluation is crucial to providing an unbiased analysis of the D&D process and outcome. When planning for verification surveys, ORISE experts may also use the Multi-Agency Radiation Survey and Assessment of Materials and Equipment Manual (MARSAME), which is a supplement to MARSSIM. MARSAME provides technical information on approaches for planning, implementing, assessing, and documenting surveys to determine proper disposition of materials and equipment. ORISE uses both manuals during verification activities to examine the final status survey (FSS) design, execution, and results.

During site verification, a team of qualified radiological experts follows systematic procedures to collect environmental data and samples using specialized equipment, including radiation detectors, spectrometers, and Global Positioning Systems. Environmental samples are then analyzed at the Radiological and Environmental Analytical Laboratory for the contaminants of concern.

The benefits of ORISE independent verification include:

  • Provides assurance that the site was remediated to the approved release criteria
  • Helps prevent an improper release of property that is not in regulatory compliance
  • Enhances credibility to the public and builds stakeholder trust in environmental cleanup
  • Provides DOE and regulatory agencies with independent, technical advice and consultation

Where has ORISE conducted verification survey activities?

From 1980 to present, ORISE has been involved with verification survey activities at more than 600 sites, primarily in North America but also in Southeast Asia and other locations around the world. Browse the map below to learn more about ORISE independent verification at these sites.