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Hazardous waste, decontamination and decommissioning, and clean up workers exposure assessment feasibility study at the Department of Energy Savannah River Site.

Tankersley WG; West CM; Gray FE
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Contract 200-93-2695, 1998 Dec; :1-142
Since the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Health and Human Services in 1990, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has had responsibility for management or conduction of analytical health studies of workers at DOE facilities. Unlike most previous DOE-related epidemiologic studies which have focused on past worker exposure from normal facility operations, this report pertains to a feasibility study aimed at identifying and describing records relating to the population of workers at the Savannah River Site (SRS) in Aiken, South Carolina who have been, are currently, or who will be involved with remediation or waste management activities. In many cases, accelerated cleanup schedules are planned for DOE sites across the country with the intention of site remediation within the scope of a ten-year period. There is concern that the workers involved in these cleanup activities, who might encounter hazards to which their predecessors (i.e., production workers) were not exposed, may vanish upon completion of these tasks. It is this concern that initiated and encouraged this study. The population of interest within the study included workers directly involved in remedial and waste management activities as well as persons providing support, supervision, and monitoring, if these persons are at risk of exposure. For the purpose of the study, NIOSH defined the population of interest to include workers involved in hazardous waste (HW) activities, decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) activities, and clean up activities. The population of interest included prime contractor workers and subcontract workers holding various job titles. The focus of the study included recent past (1992 to 1996), present, and proposed future (1997 to 2006) remediation activities, current and proposed technologies, and worker group demographics and occupational exposures. The first phase of the study was to identify, review, and summarize documentation regarding the study population for use as a foundation upon which further studies may be built. Activities involving workers of interest were identified chiefly from information collected from publicly available documents and from interviews with SRS personnel. A limited amount of data was garnered from documents provided by SRS not normally made available to the public. The same set of resources were used to collect other information relevant to the activities identified. Characteristics of the work force(s) involved in these activities and the technologies presently used or proposed for use in these activities were investigated. Information on the types, quantity, availability, and level of radiation exposure data pertaining to the study population, as well as the location and oversight responsibility of the exposure data, were investigated. A large number of personal contacts were made during the course of this project, and a large number of resources were accessed or identified. A detailed listing of these contacts and references is included as part of this formal document.
Hazardous-waste-cleanup; Radiation; Radiation-contamination; Radiation-decontamination; Radiation-exposure; Radiation-facilities; Radiation-hazards; Nuclear-energy; Nuclear-fuels; Nuclear-hazards; Nuclear-radiation; Nuclear-wastes; Waste-disposal; Waste-disposal-systems; Waste-treatment; Worker-health; Workplace-studies; Hazardous-materials; Employee-exposure; Environmental-contamination; Environmental-hazards; Environmental-health-monitoring; Epidemiology; Maintenance-workers; Region-4; Plutonium-compounds; Neutron-radiation
Publication Date
Document Type
Final Contract Report; Memorandum of Understanding
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
NIOSH Division
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Center for Epidemiologic Research, Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division