The Department of Energy (DOE) has begun a public comment period for directives governing the release of potentially contaminate materials.
This follows the announcement July 13, that the department would suspend release of scrap metals for recycling from radiological areas until new directives are in place.
The directives would require DOE to ensure that potentially contaminated materials are properly inspected before being considered for release from DOE sites.
They would also require DOE sites to involve the local public in the decision making process.
Under the directives, scrap metal would not be released for recycling if they contain detectable radioactive contamination. Likewise, recordkeeping associated with materials would be improved, said DOE.
The United Steelworkers of American (USWA) praised DOE for the proposed criteria .
USWA President George Becker said that the union will review the proposals carefully and submit any suggested improvements by the Dec. 4 deadline for comments.
Proposed changes to DOE Order 5400.5, "Radiation Protection for the Public and Environment," are available on www.eh.doe.gov.
by Virginia Sutcliffe