Atomic Energy Act (AEA) of 1954

The purpose of the Atomic Energy Act (42 U.S.C. Sect. 2011 - Sect. 2259) (AEA) is to assure the proper management of source, special nuclear, and byproduct material. The AEA and the statutes that amended it delegate the control of nuclear energy primarily to DOE, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) , and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

DOE Standards

  • DOE-STD-1196-2011, Derived Concentration Technical Standard Complements and supports the implementation of Department of Energy (DOE) Order 458.1, Radiation Protection of the Public and the Environment. It establishes the numerical values of Derived Concentration technical standards DCSs and new internal dose coefficients for the ingestion of water, inhalations and submersion in air, all in a manner reflecting the current state of knowledge and practice in radiation protection.
  • DOE-STD-1153-2019, A Graded Approach for Evaluating Radiation Doses to Aquatic and Terrestial Biota. DOE Order 458.1, Radiation Protection of the Public and the Environment, specifies that when actions taken to protect humans from radiation and radioactive materials are not adequate to protect biota, evaluations must be done to demonstrate compliance. DOE STD 1153-2019, A Graded Approach for Evaluating Radiation Doses to Aquatic and Terrestrial Biota provides a description of the methods, models, and guidance within a graded approach that DOE personnel and contractors may use to characterize radiation doses to aquatic and terrestrial biota that are exposed to radioactive materials. 

DOE Handbooks

The purpose of the ALARA Handbook (below) is to provide guidance for implementing and complying with the current As low as Reasonably 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.

Effluent monitoring and environmental surveillance of radioactive materials are a continuing major part of the radiological protection programs at Department of Energy (DOE) sites. The purpose of this Handbook is to identify procedures, systems, methods, instruments and practices that may be used to plan and implement radiological effluent monitoring and environmental surveillance that meet the requirements in DOE Order (O) 458.1, Radiation Protection of the Public and the Environment. Effluent monitoring and environmental surveillance activities, like other DOE activities, present risks and hazards that need to be considered in planning the work. The focus of this document is on the sampling, monitoring and analysis activities and although not addressed in detail in this Handbook, appropriate job hazard analyses are necessary to ensure worker safety.

DOE-HDBK-1216-2015 is the update of the regulatory guide Environmental Regulatory Guide for Radiological Effluent Monitoring and Environmental Surveillance (DOE/EH-0173T; January 1991). DOE/EH-0173T is still accessible on the following link:  DOE/EH-0173T(1991), Environmental Regulatory Guide for Radiological Effluent Monitoring and Environmental Surveillance

DOE-HDBK-1240-2021, Institutional Controls Implementation Handbook for Use with Use of Institutional Controls This Handbook provides information to assist Department of Energy (DOE) program and field offices in understanding what is necessary and acceptable for implementing the provisions of DOE Policy (P) 454.1, Use of Institutional Controls. It identifies issues that need to be addressed when considering the use of institutional controls to support DOE’s diverse missions. Neither this Handbook nor the Policy include requirements, rather the Policy establishes the Department’s commitment to using institutional controls effectively to meet requirements contained in other directives or regulations. For example, DOE P 454.1 helps ensure that institutional controls will be integrated into the DOE Order (O) 436.1, Departmental Sustainability, environmental management system (EMS) implementation framework to help protect the public and the environment.

Surface Contamination Guidelines/Radiological Clearance of Property.

Under DOE O 458.1 the approved surface contamination guidelines are presented in Table IV-1, DOE O 5400.5 (Predecessor of DOE O 458.1) or alternatively Draft DOE G 441.1-XX, Implementation Guide: Control and Release of Property with Residual Radioactive Materials.

National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) Compliance Monitoring

The National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) is an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standard that is applicable within the United States to the emissions of hazardous air pollutants produced by corporations, institutions and at Agencies at all levels of government. The hazardous air pollutants are those pollutants that are known or suspected to cause cancer, serious health effects, or adverse environmental effects.  For the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) sites, the EPA regulates radionuclide emissions to air, other than radon, under Subpart H of 40 CFR Part 61.  Subpart H requires DOE operations that have the potential to emit radionuclides to ambient air to issue an annual compliance report demonstrating site compliance with the dose standard.

Radioactive Waste Management

Federal Environmental Laws