LIMITATIONS OF THE DATA
The following is a description of the limitations of the data currently
available in the DOE Radiation Exposure Monitoring System (REMS). The discussion
of these limitations was included in the published annual report. While
these limitations have been taken into consideration in the analysis presented
in the annual report, readers should be alert to these limitations and
consider their implications when drawing conclusions from these data. Some
of these limitations may not be applicable to the data presented on the
web page, but are included here to provide readers with a comprehensive
list. References are made to the appropriate sections and pages of the
latest annual report.
The data presented here are meant to serve as a statistical summarization
of occupational radiation exposure at DOE and may not represent the official
dose records of the monitored individuals, which are maintained at the
respective DOE sites.
The data in the REMS web page query tool are updated periodically as data
is received from the DOE sites. The data is subject to change as updates
are received. This may include changes to data for previous years.
Individual Dose Records vs Dose Distribution
Prior to 1987, exposure data were reported from each facility in terms of a statistical dose distribution wherein the number of individuals receiving a dose within specific dose ranges was reported. The collective dose was then calculated from the distribution by multiplying the number of individuals in each dose range by the midpoint value of the dose range. Starting in 1987, reports of individual exposures were collected that recorded the specific dose for each monitored individual. The collective dose can be accurately determined by summing the total dose for each individual. The dose distribution reporting method prior to 1987 resulted in up to a 20% overestimation of collective dose. The reason is that the distribution of doses within a range is usually skewed toward the lower end of the range. If the midpoint of the range is multiplied by the number of people in the range, the product overestimates the collective dose. This overestimation only affects the data prior to 1987 presented in Appendix Exhibits B-2a, B-2b, and
The dose distributions presented in this report are based on the individual dose records reported to REMS. Individuals may be counted more than once as some sites report multiple dose records for an individual who visits the site more than once, or the individual may visit more than one site during the year. (See Section 3.5.)
Radiation monitoring practices vary from site to site and are based on the radiation hazards and work practices at each site. Sites use different dosimeters and have different policies to determine which workers are monitored. All sites have achieved compliance with the DOE Laboratory Accreditation Program (DOELAP), which standardizes the quality of dosimetry measurements. The number of monitored individuals can significantly impact the site's collective dose. Some sites supply dosimeters to virtually all workers. While this tends to increase the number of monitored workers with no dose, it also can add an increased number of very low dose workers to the total number of workers with measurable dose, thereby lowering the site's average measurable dose. Even at low doses, these workers increase the site's collective dose. In contrast, other sites only monitor workers who exceed the monitoring requirement threshold (as specified in 10 CFR 835.402). This tends to reduce the number of monitored workers and reports only those workers receiving doses above the monitoring threshold. This can decrease the site's collective dose while increasing the average measurable dose.
AEDE vs CEDE
Prior to 1989, intakes of radionuclides into the body were not reported as dose, but as body burden in units of activity of systemic burden. The implementation of DOE Order 5480.11 in 1989 specified that the intakes of radionuclides be converted to internal dose and reported using the Annual Effective Dose Equivalent (AEDE) methodology. The AEDE methodology requires the calculation of the summation of dose for all tissues and organs multiplied by the appropriate weighting factor for a specified year. Note that per DOE O 5480.11, AEDE included components of internal and external dose. Therefore, the AEDE was analogous to the TEDE. However, DOE O 5480.11 does not define TEDE.
With the implementation of the RadCon Manual in 1993, the required methodology used to calculate and report internal dose was changed from the AEDE to the 50-year CEDE. The CEDE represents the dose equivalent delivered to all organs and tissues over the next 50 years and the 50-year CEDE is reported to REMS and assigned to the individual in the year of intake. The change was made to provide consistency with scientific recommendations, facilitate the transfer of workers between DOE- and NRC-regulated facilities, and simplify recordkeeping by recording all dose in the year of intake. The CEDE methodology is now codified in 10 CFR 835. From 1993 to 2009, the TEDE is defined as the summation of the Deep Dose Equivalent (DDE) to the whole body and the CEDE.
The monitoring year 2010 is the first year where all sites were required to report under the Amendment to 10 C.F.R. 835 and therefore, all terminology changed. Beginning with 2010 data, the sum of the effective dose (ED) plus the committed effective dose (CED) equals the total effective dose (TED).
This report primarily analyzes dose information for the past 5 years. During these years, the CEDE methodology was used to calculate internal dose; therefore, the change in methodology from AEDE to CEDE between 1992 and 1993 does not affect the analysis contained in this report. Readers should keep in mind the change in methodology if analyzing TEDE data prior to 1993 in Exhibits B-2a, B-2b, and B-3.
Each individual's dose record includes the occupation code for the individual while he worked at the DOE site during the monitoring year. Occupational codes typically represent the occupation the individual held at the end of the calendar year and may not represent the occupation where the majority of dose was received if the individual held multiple occupations during the year. The occupation codes are very broad categorizations and are grouped into nine general categories. Each year a percentage (up to 30%) of the occupations is listed as unknown, or as miscellaneous. The definitions of each of the labor categories are subject to interpretation by the reporting organization and/or the individual's employer.
The facility type is also recorded with each dose record for the monitoring year. It is intended to reflect the type of facility where the individual received most of their occupational radiation exposure during the monitoring year. While the facility types are clearly defined (see Appendix A-3), the reporting organizations often have difficulty tracking which facility type contributed to the majority of the individual's exposure. Certain individuals tend to work in the proximity of several different facility types throughout the monitoring year and are often included in the "Maintenance and Support (Site-wide)" facility type. The facility type for temporary contract workers and members of the public is often not reported and is defaulted to "unknown."
DOE Headquarters has reviewed the Facility Type codification scheme and modified the reporting requirements to standardize the use of facility type classifications and improve the quality of the data and the data analysis. In addition, a facility Phase of Operation Code has been introduced to allow a more comprehensive site description.
Facilities report data to the central repository based on an "organization code." This code identifies the Operations or Field Office, the reporting facility, and the contractor or subcontractor that is reporting the exposure information. The organization code changes over time as DOE Offices are reorganized. For example, the Mound Plant, Fernald, and West Valley Project changed Operations Office between 1993 & 1994 and the Rocky Flats site recovery was completed in 2007. Footnotes indicate any changes when applicable.
Occurrence reports involving radiation exposure and personnel contamination events are additional indicators of the effectiveness of radiation protection efforts at DOE. These events will continue to be analyzed and presented in this report.
Additional Data Requirements
To provide analysis of the activities at DOE sites with respect to radiation exposure (see Section 3.4.3), it is necessary to augment the information reported to the REMS database. For the past 5 years, DOE Headquarters has requested additional information from all sites, especially the five sites with the highest collective dose. This information includes a summary of activities, project descriptions, and ALARA planning documentation. DOE Headquarters will continue to request this information in subsequent years. It is recommended that sites submit this information with their annual records.
Naval Reactor Facilities
The exposure information for the Schenectady and Pittsburgh Naval Reactor facilities is not included in this report. Readers should note that the dose information for the overall DOE complex presented in this report may differ from other reports or sources of information because of the exclusion of these data.
Exposure information for Naval Reactor programs can be found in the most recent version of the following series of reports (where XX represents the report year):
- NT-XX-2 "Occupational Radiation Exposure from U.S. Naval Nuclear Plants and Their Support Facilities,"
- NT-XX-3 "Occupational Radiation Exposure from U.S. Naval Reactors' Department of Energy Facilities."