NNSS dosimetry program accreditation renewed

peer review
The NNSS dosimetry team: Rob Etnire, Calvin Jones, Doug McBride, Mike Johnson, Danny Adams and Rahim Ghanooni.

NNSS’ program has never failed to meet DOELAP’s high standards

The NNSS’ dosimetry program has once again successfully met the requirements for a three-year accreditation by the Department of Energy Laboratory Accreditation Program (DOELAP).

Working safely among radiation and radioactive materials is a top priority. Every three years, the NNSS undergoes a vigorous accreditation program to ensure employees working in a radiation environment do so safely. Successful completion of DOELAP protects the safety of workers for years to come by monitoring their exposure to radiation – a federal regulation. This accreditation ensures the adequacy and compliance of personnel dosimetry programs.

“Maintaining this accreditation is critical to the continued success of our mission, and meeting DOELAP’s high standards to receive re-accreditation is no easy task,” said Senior Director of Mission Support Raymond Alexander. “My hat goes off to all of our team members who worked so hard to make this happen.”

Team members heading up the re-accreditation process include: Doug McBride, manager; Rob Etnire, scientist; Rahim Ghanooni, scientist; Danny R. Adams, supervisor; Michael Johnson, technician; and Calvin Jones Jr., scientist.

The NNSS wants to make sure employees feel safe when they come to work and trust their employer is looking out for them every step of the way. The mission depends on the DOELAP accreditation, and the NNSS Dosimetry Program has never failed.

peer review tour
A dosimeter is scanned into the NNSS system prior to issuance.

“It’s not easy to maintain an accredited program,” said Radiological Control Manager Jeffrey Smith. “It takes a lot of time and effort on a lot of people’s parts. For us to have it as long as we have without any major findings or issues is a real accomplishment.”

To closely monitor employees’ radiation exposure levels in the workplace, the NNSS’ Radiological Control Department provides dosimeters to all workers who need to enter radiation areas or handle radioactive material. Workers can be assured that if they are required to enter areas where radiation exists, their radiation doses will be identified and reported accurately. When individuals or areas are monitored by a dosimetry program, it must be accredited by DOELAP.

“If the radiation safety prime contractor were not accredited by DOELAP to perform dose monitoring for the NNSS, all radiological work activity would stop until an accredited contractor or vendor could be brought in to perform this monitoring,” said Radiological Health and Engineering Manager Doug McBride.

DOELAP performance testing for a new three-year accreditation was completed in March 2017, and technical experts found no programmatic deficiencies during their onsite assessment. In November 2017, the NNSS’ performance evaluation results were presented to the DOELAP Oversight Board. Accreditation is effective through Dec. 14, 2020.