The independent verification process in decommissioning, decontamination, and reutilization activities - description, benefits, and lessons learned
Description: Oak Ridge National Laboratory Environmental Technology Section has been performing Independent Verification (IV) activities for U.S. DOE sites since 1986. DOE has successfully used IV in the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Program, Decontamination and Decommissioning projects, and Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Projects/Surplus Facilities Management Program. Projects that have undergone IV range from small residential properties to large, industrial sites. The IV process provides a third-party review conducted by an independent organization. The purpose is to verify accuracy and completeness of contractor field measurements and final documentation, evaluate the credibility of procedures, and independently assess post-cleanup conditions versus decommissioning project plans and release criteria. Document reviews of plans, dose models, procedures, and reports are some IV activities undertaken. Independent measurements are also collected during field visits to confirm the contractor`s findings. Corrective actions for discrepancies are suggested if necessary. Finally, archival and reporting of the final site environmental conditions for project closeout and certification are completed. The IV contractor reports to DOE headquarters and acts as a quality assurance feedback mechanism. An IV also provides additional assurance that projects are planned, carried out, and documented properly. Decommissioning projects benefit from the IV process by: (1) cost and time savings from early identification of potential problems, (2) assurance that cleanup meets regulatory guidelines, and (3) technical reviews and consultation with experts in field instrumentation, sampling strategy, etc. Some lessons learned from the IV process include avoiding: (1) improper survey techniques, (2) reporting data in units not comparable with guideline values, (3) premature release of surfaces, (4) poor decommissioning project planning, (5) misapplication of release guidelines. 20 refs.
Date: June 1, 1997
Creator: Egidi, P.V.
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