Worthwhile Experience: Ukrainian Specialists Provide Guidance for Implementing Radiological Survey

Press Release for Mass Media

June 09, 2008

Over the course of two weeks, during June 9-23, specialists of the International Radioecology Laboratory (IRL) of the Chornobyl Center will train their Iraqi colleagues in conducting radiological survey of territories, buildings, and equipment through the use of MARSSIM, the world-wide used manual. MARSSIM is the Multi-Agency Radiation Surveys and Site Investigation Manual.

The training course will involve 27 specialists from Iraq participating as trainees, as well as representatives of the Texas Tech University (USA) and the International Radioecology Laboratory (Ukraine) operating as managers and consultants of the program. The training was organized under financial support of the Ministry of Finance and Industry, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (UK).

The training course goal is to provide Iraqi specialists with guidance for conducting radiological surveys of the territories, buildings and equipment performed with the objective to implement their further decommissioning. The training course will include in-situ field studies (research of environmental objects in the towns of Slavutych and Prypyat, at some other facilities of the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone) as well as training in analytical laboratory research methods on the IRL basis. The trainees will study practical basics of MARSSIM application – retrospective assessment of a research site, planning and implementation of surveys, saving the obtained results in the specifically developed database, their further analysis, and reporting.


MARSSIM allows ensuring a scientifically grounded comprehensive planning and implementing radiological survey of any territory subject to decontamination and remediation, demonstrating adherence to the set goals compliant with radiation safety regulations and quality assurance requirements. MARSSIM provides a process for collecting, organizing, and interpreting data and for making decisions about populations of data from samples. MARSSIM uses a specific statistical method for obtaining the survey data and comparing them.

MARSSIM was developed collaboratively by a multi-agency workgroup. Members of the workgroup represented the four U.S. federal agencies that have primary responsibility for controlling radioactive materials: the Departments of Defense (DOD) and Energy (DOE), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Many individuals and other organizations also contributed to its development.

EPA, NRC, DOD, DOE, and most state regulatory programs have adopted MARSSIM and accept its use. MARSSIM users include site owners, contractors, and the public. Current implementation includes U.S. nuclear power plants (Trojan, Connecticut Yankee and Maine Yankee); DOE sites such as ANL, BNL, ETTP (Oak Ridge) and Rocky Flats; Army Corps FUSRAP sites; and at Air Force and Naval Base cleanup projects. The MARSSIM continues to be implemented at an increasing number of decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) projects.

International organizations using MARSSIM in their activities include International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development/Nuclear Energy Agency (OECD/NEA), World Nuclear Association, and European Commission.

The MARSSIM Workgroup is an ongoing, collaborative effort to bring consistency to the methods and processes used to demonstrate compliance with federal and state radiation regulations.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency offers training classes and live internet-based training providing detailed information on using the MARSSIM guidance with first-hand knowledge on implementing MARSSIM in realistic situations.

Official MARSSIM Web page: http://www.epa.gov/radiation/marssim/

Information and Analytical Department of the Chornobyl Center

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