The purpose of these draft documents(below) is to provide guidance for implementing and complying with the current As low as Reasonaly Achievable (ALARA) requirements of DOE O 458.1, 4.d. for the development and application of a program to keep radiation exposures of the public and releases of radioactive material to the environment from DOE activities as low as is reasonably achievable, that is, an ALARA program means the set of design specifications, operating procedures, techniques, monitoring and surveillance programs, records, and instructions used to implement the ALARA process. ALARA process means a logical procedure for evaluating alternative operations, processes, and other measures, designed to reduce exposures to radiation and emissions of radioactive material into the environment, taking into account societal, environmental, technological, economic, practical, and public policy considerations to make a judgment concerning the optimum level of public health protection.
The term radiological protection, is used in this document in the broad sense in that it includes, among other things, the design and operation of those processing components whose function is to remove radioactive material from waste streams which become part of the effluent releases to the environment or to constitute other sources of exposure of members of the public.
ALARA applications to radiation protection may be reflected in decision-making on the selection of the optimum design of a process system, or performance criteria for the features or components of the system, or on the selection of operating modes or other parameters that can effect the exposure of members of the public to radiation. The selection may be achieved through a logical process that considers both benefits and detriments. This is the ALARA process . ALARA decisions require consideration of a broad range of technical and societal factors. The rule requires that the bases for the ALARA decisions be documented.
The goal of the ALARA process is a decision-making tool with the goal to maximize the total benefits of the radiological protection provisions for a DOE activity that is likely to expose members of the public to ionization radiation. This occurs for when the cost of radiological protection plus the cost of the detriment are minimal. The procedure for attaining the minimal cost condition is called "optimization." This guidance describes and discusses necessary elements of an ALARA program and is intended to help persons in making decisions on radiation protection by providing a method for selecting the optimum radiological protection alternative from among several candidate alternatives.