U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)
- 10 CFR 20 Subpart E. Radiological Criteria for License Termination. This is commonly referred to as the License Termination Rule (LTR).
- 10 CFR 20.1402 Radiological Criteria for Unrestricted Use
"A site will be considered acceptable for unrestricted use if the residual radioactivity that is distinguishable from background radiation results in a TEDE to an average member of the critical group that does not exceed 25 milllirem (0.25 milliSievert) per year, including that from groundwater sources of drinking water, and the residual radioactivity has been reduced to levels that are as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA). Determination of the levels which are ALARA must take into account consideration of any detriments, such as deaths from transportation accidents, expected to potentially result from decontamination and waste disposal."
- Guidelines for Decontamination of Facilities and Equipment Prior to Release to Unrestricted Use or Termination of Licenses for Byproduct, Source, or Special Nuclear Material.
- Regulatory Guide 1.86. Termination of Operating Licenses for Nuclear Reactors.
Specifies total average, total maximum, and total removable surface contamination limits for alpha and beta/gamma contamination for four categories of radionuclides. Although this AEC standard was promulgated over 40 years ago, it still remains the basis for many current standards for the NRC, DOE and state regulators. NRC Source.
- On August 12, 2016, the NRC withdrew Regulatory Guide 1.86 in Federal Register Volume 81, Number 156 (Pages 53507-5508). NRC Source. NRC also issued a Q&A to justify the basis for the withdrawal (Adams Accession No. ML16099A267).
- The NRC staff issued RG 1.86 in June 1974,
to provide guidance for termination of licenses for nuclear power
plants, including the decommissioning of reactors. In addition, RG 1.86
includes information in Table 1, "Acceptable Surface Contamination
Levels,'' regarding acceptable average and maximum surface contamination criteria.
- The guidance in RG 1.86 is no longer needed because it has been
updated and replaced by NRC's regulations and other regulatory
guidance. This guidance can be found in RG 1.179, "Standard Formant
and Content of License Termination Plans for Nuclear Power Reactors'' (ADAMS Accession No. ML110490419); RG 1.184, "Decommissioning of
Nuclear Power Reactors'' (ADAMS Accession No. ML13144A840); and RG
1.185, "Standard Format and Content for Post-Shutdown Decommissioning
Activities Report'' (ADAMS Accession No. ML13140A038), which provide the NRC Staff guidance on implementing the NRC's regulations related to decommissioning and licence termination requirements as amended in 1996 and 1997, respectively.
- In addition, various NUREGs, including NUREG-1700, Revision 1, "Standard
Review Plan for Evaluating Nuclear Power Reactor License Termination
Plans'' (ADAMS Accession No. ML031270391) and Volume 2,
"Characterization, Survey, and Determination of Radiological
Criteria'' (ADAMS Accession No. ML032530405), of NUREG-1757,
"Consolidated Decommissioning Guidance,'' provide up-to-date
information that aligns with RGs 1.179, 1.184, and 1.185. Specifically,
NUREG 1757, Volume 2, Revision 1, includes: (1) Tables of screening
criteria (concentrations) applicable to surface contamination of
buildings and to surface soils (Tables H.1 and H.2); and (2) guidance
on determining site-specific criteria for buildings and soils remaining
onsite at license termination (Chapter 5 and Appendix I).
- Also, RG 8.21, "Health Physics Surveys for Byproduct Material at
NRC-Licensed Processing and Manufacturing Plants'' (ADAMS Accession No. ML003739577); RG 8.23, "Radiation Safety Surveys at Medical
Institutions'' (ADAMS Accession No. ML003739603); and RG 8.30, "Health
Physics Surveys in Uranium Recovery Facilities'' (ADAMS Accession No.
ML021260524), provide information similar to that included in Table 1
of RG 1.86. Specifically, Table 1 in RG 1.86 is now included in RG 8.23
and is titled, "Table 3 Acceptable Surface Contamination Levels for
Uncontrolled Release of Equipment."
- Because RG 1.86 is no longer needed, the NRC is withdrawing RG
1.86. Withdrawal of a RG means that the guide no longer provides useful
information or has been superseded by other guidance, technical inovations, congressional actions, or other events.
- The withdrawal of RG 1.86 does not alter any prior or existing NRC licensing approval or the acceptability of license commitments to RG 1.86. Although RG 1.86 is withdrawn, current licensees may continue to use it, and withdrawal does not affect any existing licenses or agreements. However, RG 1.86 should not be used in future requests or applications for NRC licensing actions.
- For the release for unrestricted use of materials and equipment, NUREG-1757, Volume 1, Revision 2, Section 220.127.116.11, "Release of Solid Materials with Surface Residual Radioactivity," describes current NRC staff practice for the case-by-case reviews of applications (ADAMS Accession No. ML063000243). This guidance states,
"For materials licensees, NRC staff usually authorizes the release of solid material through
specific license conditions. One set of criteria that is used to evaluate solid materials before they
are released is contained in Regulatory Guide 1.86, entitled "Termination of Operating Licenses
for Nuclear Reactors." A similar guidance document is Fuel Cycle Policy and Guidance
Directive FC 83-23, entitled, "Guidelines for Decontamination of Facilities and Equipment Prior
to Release for Unrestricted Use or Termination of Byproduct, Source or Special Nuclear
Material Licenses." Both documents contain a table of surface contamination criteria which
may be applied by licensees for use in demonstrating that solid material with surface
contamination can be safely released with no further regulatory control. Although Regulatory Guide 1.86 was originally developed for nuclear power plant licensees, the
surface contamination criteria have been used in other contexts for all types of licensees for
many years. By setting maximum allowable limits for surface contamination, Regulatory
Guide 1.86 implicitly reflects the fact that materials with surface contamination below those
limits may be released without adverse effects on the public health and safety."
- FC 83-23 was originally promulgated in a 1983 memo from R. E. Cunningham (ADAMS Accession No. ML030650166). Enclosure 2 of this FC 83-23 memo (revised August 1987) is entitled "Guidelines for Decontamination of Facilities and Equipment Prior to Release for Unrestricted Use or Termination of Licenses for Byproduct, Source, or Special Nuclear Material", Table 1 of Enclosure 2, entitled, "Acceptable Surface Contamination Levels" contains identical levels to those levels in Table 1 of RG 1.86. In summary, current NRC guidance in NUREG-1757, Volume 1, Revision 2, Section 18.104.22.168, cites current FC 83-23 which contains identical acceptable surface contamination levels as those in the withdrawn RG 1.86.
- NUREG-1501. Background as a Residual Radioactivity Criterion for Decommissioning. Draft. July 1994. NRC Source.
- NUREG-1505 Revision 1. A Nonparametric Statistical Methodology for the Design and Analysis of Final Status Decommissioning Surveys. June 1998. NRC Source.
- NUREG-1507. Minimum Detectable Concentrations with Typical Radiation Survey Instruments for Various Contaminants and Field Conditions.
- NUREG-1640. Radiological Assessment for Clearance of Materials from Nuclear Facilities. June 2003. NRC Source.
- DG-4006. Draft Regulatory Guide. Demonstrating Compliance with the Radiological Criteria for License Termination. August 1998. NRC Source. Later withdrawn and incorporated into NUREG-1727.
NUREG-1727. NMSS Standard Review Plan for Decommissioning. Specifies requirements for decommissioning plans. September 2000. NRC Source.
- Appendix D of NUREG-1727. As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA). Specifies methodology for cost-benefit analysis to demonstrate what levels below a 25 millirem/year cleanup standard are ALARA.
- NUREG-1757, Vol. 1. Consolidated NMSS Decommissioning Guidance. Decommissioning Process for Materials Licensees. Revision 2. September 2006. NRC Source.
- NUREG-1757, Vol. 2. Consolidated NMSS Decommissioning Guidance. Characterization, Survey, and Determination of Radiological Criteria. Revision 1. September 2006. NRC Source.
- NUREG-1757, Vol. 3 Consolidated NMSS Decommissioning Guidance. Financial Assurance, Record Keeping and Timliness. Revision 1. September 2003. NRC Source.
- NUREG-1761. Radiological Surveys for Controlling Release of Solid Materials. July 2002. NRC Source.
- NUREG/CR-2082. Monitoring for Compliance with Decommissioning Termination Survey Criteria." June 1981. NRC Source. Superceded by MARSSIM.
- NUREG/CR-5849. Manual for Conducting Radiological Surveys in Support of License Termination. Draft. June 1992. NRC Source. Superceded by MARSSIM.
- Memorandum of Understanding Between the Environmental Protection Agency and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Consultation and Finality on Decommissioning and Decontamination of Contaminated Sites. Distribution Memorandum OSWER 9295.8-06a.
U. S. Department of Energy (DOE)
- DOE Order 5400.5. Radiation Protection of the Public & the Environment. Change 2, 1993-01-07. Specifies a basic dose limit of 100 millirem/year plus ALARA for operating facilities. Specifies cleanup limits for surface contamination that are equivalent to Regulatory Guide 1.86. Specifies soil cleanup standards for radium and thorium based on ARARs (see EPA below). Replaced by DOE Order O 458.1. See below.
- DOE-HDBK-XXXX-97. Draft Handbook for Controlling Release for Reuse or Recycle of Non-real Property Containing Residual Radioactive Material. June 1997.
- DOE G 441.1-XX (Draft). 2002-04-04. Guidance for "Release and Control of Material with Residual Radioactive Material" from DOE facilities. It reiterates DOE's adoption of a dose limit of 25 mrem/year for all pathways and Regulatory Guide 1.86 for surface contamination. DOE Source.
- DOE-STD-1241-2023. DOE Technical Standard. "Implementing Release and Clearance of Property Requirements." Final published version of DOE G 441.1-XX (Draft). Supports 25 mrem/y plus ALARA for real property, 1 mrem/y for personal property, Reg.Guide 1.86 based total and removable surface contamnation, ANSI/HPS N13.12-2013 for volumetric contamnation of building debris and soil, and UMTRCA 5 pGi/g for radium-226 in soil. DOE Source.
- DOE Order O 458.1. Chg 3. Radiation Protection of the Public and the Environment. Initially issued in 2011-02-11 and revised in 2013-01-15, DOE O 458.1 replaces DOE 5400.5. Removes suface contamination limits of 5400.5 and requires surface contamination limits be based on DOE site specific approved limits.
- Technical Basis for Release of Solid Materials from Radiological Control when Residual Radioativity Levels are Indistinguishable from Background. Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility. June 8, 2009.
- PNNL-13484. Uses of ANSI/HPS N13.12-1999 "Surface and Volume Radioactivity Standards for Clearence" and Comparison with Existing Standards. In August 1999, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved a standard for clearance of materials contaminated with residual levels of radioactivity. “Clearance,” as used in the standard, means the movement of material from the control of a regulatory agency to a use or disposition that has no further regulatory controls of any kind. The standard gives derived screening levels (DSLs) in Bq/g and Bq/cm2 for 50 radionuclides. Items or materials with residual surface and volume radioactivity levels below the DSLs can be cleared, that is, managed, without regard to their residual radioactivity. P.S. Stansbury and D. J. Strom. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. April 2001.