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Acronym and Glossary Guide

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z



A
ACRs Adverse Condition Reports (Now Listed As CRs)
AEC Atomic Energy Commission
ASLB Atomic Safety and Licensing Board
ASME American Society of Mechanical Engineers

ALARA - As Low As Reasonably Achievable, or keeping radiation emissions and exposures to levels set as far below regulatory limits as is reasonably possible in order to protect public health and the environment.

alpha radiation - The most energetic but least penetrating form of radiation. It can be stopped by a sheet of paper and cannot penetrate human skin. However, if an alpha-emitting isotope is inhaled or ingested, it will cause highly concentrated local damage. Alpha-emitting radioactive material at the site originates from nuclear fuel cladding failure at the Haddam Neck plant.

ARARs - Applicable or relevant and appropriate requirements.  A comprehensive set of laws and regulations that are relevant to guide the selection of cleanup or decommissioning activities at a particular site.

asbestos - A strong and incombustible fiber widely used in the past for fireproofing and insulation. The small, buoyant fibers are easily inhaled or swallowed, causing a number of serious diseases including: asbestosis, a chronic disease of the lungs that makes breathing more and more difficult; cancer; and mesothelioma, a cancer (specific to asbestos exposure) of the membranes that line the chest and abdomen.

atom - The smallest particle of an element having the chemical properties of that element; the fundamental building block of matter.

B

background radiation - The natural radioactivity in the environment. Natural background radiation consists of cosmic rays, filtered through the atmosphere from outer space, and radiation from the naturally radioactive elements in the earth (primarily uranium, thorium, radium and potassium).  The average American receives about 360 millirem per year from natural and man-made radiation.

Barnwell - Barnwell, South Carolina, burial site for low level radioactive material.

beta radiation - High-energy electrons (beta particles) emitted from certain radioactive material. Can pass through 1 to 2 centimeters of water or human flesh and can be shielded by a thin sheet of aluminum. Beta particles are more deeply penetrating than alpha particles but, because of their smaller size, cause less localized damage.

biological effects - The early or delayed results of biological damage caused by nuclear radiation (alpha, beta gamma).

C

CDAC Community Decommissioning Advisory Committee
CFR Code of Federal Regulations
CRs Condition Reports
CR Control Room
CY Connecticut Yankee Nuclear Power Plant
CYAPCO Connecticut Yankee Atomic Power Company
characterization - Facility or site sampling, monitoring and analysis activities to determine the extent and nature of contamination. Characterization provides the basis for acquiring the necessary technical information to develop, screen, analyze, and select appropriate cleanup techniques.

cleanup - The general term for environmental restoration, the process designed to ensure that risks to the environment and to human health and safety from sites that need remediation either are eliminated or reduced to prescribed, safe levels.

contamination - The presence of foreign materials, chemicals or radioactive substances in the environment (soil, sediment, water or air) in significant concentrations.

curie - A unit of radioactivity that represents the amount of radioactivity associated with one gram of radium. To say that a sample of radioactive material exhibits one curie of radioactivity means that the element is emitting radiation at the rate of 3.7 million times a second. Named after Marie Curie, an early nuclear scientist.

D
D&D Decontamination & Dismantlement
DEP Department of Environmental Protection
DERO Decommissioning Emergency Response Organization
DOC Decommissioning Operations Contractor
DOE Department of Energy
DOT Department of Transportation
DPH Department of Public Health
DPUC Department of Public Utilities Commission
 

daughter product - An element formed by the radioactive decay of another element; often daughter products are radioactive themselves

DCGL - Derived Concentrate Guideline Level. Residual radioactivity levels on buildings and soil (above background radiation) that corresponds to the allowable radiation dose limits.

decay - The process whereby radioactive particles undergo a change from one form, or isotope, to another, releasing radioactive particles and/or energy.

decommissioning � Permanently removing a nuclear facility from service and reducing radioactive material on the licensed site to levels that would permit termination of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission license.

decon � One of three decommissioning options established by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Decon is immediate decontamination and dismantlement, the option selected for the Haddam Neck Plant. The other two options are Safestor and Entomb. Safestor is putting a nuclear power plant into a safe condition and delaying decontamination and dismantlement activities for as long as 60 years. Entomb is encasing in a structurally long-lived substance, e.g. concrete, with future dismantlement option.

decontamination - The removal of unwanted material (typically radioactive material) from facilities, soils, or equipment by washing, chemical action, mechanical cleansing or other techniques.

disposal - Waste emplacement designed to ensure isolation of waste from the biosphere, with no intention of retrieval for the foreseeable future.

dose - Quantity of radiation or energy absorbed; measured in rads. (See rad).

dose equivalent - A term used to express the amount of effective radiation received by an individual. A dose equivalent considers the type of radiation, the amount of body exposed, and the risk of exposure. Measured in rems. (See rem).

dosimeter - An instrument that measures exposure to radiation.

dry storage � Refers to storage of spent nuclear fuel in an Independent Spent Fuel Storage Storage Installation (ISFSI). Spent fuel pools are considered "wet" storage.

dual-purpose canister � A canister containing spent fuel assemblies or high-level waste that also is certified for dry storage and transporting off site.

E
EPA Environmental Protection Agency
EPRI Electric Power Research Institute

effluent - A waste discharged as a liquid or gas.

electron - An elementary particle with a unit negative charge and a mass 1/1837 that of the proton. Electrons surround the positively charged nucleus and determine the chemical properties of the atom.

element - Any of the 109 substances that cannot be broken down further without changing its chemical properties. Singly or in combination, the elements constitute all matter.

entomb � See Decon

exposure - A measurement of the amount of ionization produced by x-rays or gamma rays as they travel through air. The unit of radiation exposure is the roentgen, named for Wilhelm Roentgen, the German scientist who discovered x-rays in 1895

F
FERC Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
FFD Fitness For Duty
FSAR Final Safety Analysis Report
FGEIS � Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement on Decommissioning of Nuclear Facilities. (NUREG-0586), a Nuclear Regulatory Commission document.
FR - Federal Register

final status survey � FSS, a radiological survey systematically conducted to demonstrate that an area is below DCGL.

fission - The splitting of a heavy nucleus into two or more radioactive nuclei, accompanied by the emission of gamma rays, neutrons and a significant amount of energy. Fission usually is initiated by the heavy nucleus absorbing a neutron, but it also can occur spontaneously.

friable asbestos - Asbestos insulation that is loose and capable of becoming airborne.

G
GTCC Greater Than Class C Waste

gamma rays - Penetrating electromagnetic waves or rays emitted from nuclei during radioactive decay, similar to x-rays. Dense materials such as concrete and lead are used to provide shielding against gamma radiation.

groundwater - Water beneath the earth's surface that fills pores between materials such as sand, soil or gravel. Groundwater is a major source of water for agricultural and industrial purposes and is an important source of drinking water for about half of all Americans.

H
HLW High-Level Waste
HP Health Physics

half-life - The time required for a radioactive substance to lose 50 percent of its activity by decay. The half-life of the radioisotope plutonium-239, for example, is about 24,000 years. Starting with a pound of plutonium-239, in 24,000 years there will be one-half pound of plutonium-239, in another 24,000 years there will be one-fourth pound, and so on. (A pound of material remains, but it gradually becomes a stable element.)

hazardous waste - A solid waste or combination of solid wastes that, because of quantity, concentration or physical, chemical or infectious characteristics, may cause or significantly contribute to an increase in mortality or an increase in serious, irreversible, or incapacitating reversible illness or pose a substantial hazard to human health or the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported, disposed or otherwise managed. About 290 million tons of hazardous wastes are generated in the United States each year. A small percentage (about 4 percent) is recycled. The rest is treated, stored or disposed. Of the hazardous wastes disposed, most are injected as a liquid into the ground in specially designed injection wells. A large quantity is placed in surface impoundment's (pits, ponds and lagoons). A small portion is placed directly on the land or buried.

historical site assessment � HSA, a report that documents various radiological and non-radiological events that could have impacted the site over time.

heavy metals - Metals that are dense. Examples include mercury, lead, silver, gold and uranium.

HEPA - High-efficiency particulate air

high-level radioactive wastes - Highly radioactive material, containing fission products, traces of uranium and plutonium, and other transuranic elements, that results from chemical reprocessing of spent fuel. Originally produced in liquid form, high-level waste must be solidified before disposal

I
ISFSI Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation

ion - Atomic particle, atom or chemical radical bearing an electric charge, either negative or positive.

ionization - Removal of electrons from an atom, for example, by means of radiation, so that the atom becomes charged.

ionizing radiation - Radiation that has enough energy to remove electrons from substances it pass through, forming ions.

isotopes - Atoms of the same element that have equal numbers of protons, but different numbers of neutrons. Isotopes of an element have the same atomic number by different atomic mass. For example, uranium-238 and uranium-235.

K
kWh Kilowatt-hour

L
LLW Low-Level Waste
LTP License Termination Plan

M
mr Millirem
Mwe Megawatt
MARSSIM � Multi-Agency Radiation Survey and Site Investigation Manual. Guidance developed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Defense that provides a statistical methodology for evaluating radiation survey data.

MCL - Maximum concentration limit, the regulatory limit for various constituents, usually organics and inorganics; there are different levels for different media, such as air, soil, and water. The MCL cannot be exceeded.

millirem - A unit of radiation dosage equal to one-thousandth of a rem. the average person receives about 360 millirems per year from natural and man-made radiation.

mixed waste - Contains both radioactive and hazardous components.

monitoring well - A hole drilled into the ground with a pipe inserted to allow for the collection of groundwater samples.

Multi-purpose canister � Also MPC. A canister containing spent fuel assemblies or high level waste that is certified for dry storage, transporting offsite and for a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) disposal repository.

N
NEAC Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee
NEI Nuclear Energy Institute
NRC U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
NUREGS Nuclear Regulations
NWF Nuclear Waste Fund
NWPA Nuclear Waste Policy Act

natural radiation - Radiation that is always present in the environment from such sources as cosmic rays and radioactive materials in rocks and soils.

neutron - A particle that appears in the nucleus of all atoms except hydrogen. Neutrons are one of three basic particles that make up the atom. Neutrons have no electrical charge.

NPDES - National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System.

nuclear radiation - Ionizing radiation originating in the nuclei of atoms; alpha, beta, and gamma radiation.

nucleus - The central part of an atom that contains protons, neutrons and other particles.

O
OSHA Occupational Safety & Health Administration

P
PAB Primary Auxiliary Building
PCs Protective Clothing
PSDAR Post Shutdown Decommissioning Activities Report

pathways - The means by which contaminants move. Possible pathways include air, surface water, groundwater, plants and animals.

PCB - Polychlorinated biphenyl, a synthetic, organic chemical once widely used in electrical equipment, specialized hydraulic systems, heat transfer systems, and other industrial products. Highly toxic and a potent carcinogen. Any hazardous wastes that contain more than 50 parts per million of PCBs are subject to regulation under the Toxic Substances Control Act.

picocuries - Measurement of radioactivity. A picocurie is one million millionth, or a trillionth, of a curie, and represents about 2.2 radioactive particle disintegration's per minute.

Q
QA Quality Assurance

R
RCA Radiological Control Area
Rem Roentgen Equivalent Man
RP Radiation Protection
RPV Reactor Pressure Vessel
RWP Radiation Work Permit

RESRAD - Residual radiation computer code developed by Argonne National Laboratory that develops annual dose radiation doses from radioactivity in soil and around water based on all methods of receiving the dose (e.g. ingestion, inhalation, etc.).

rad - Radiation absorbed dose, a measurement of ionizing radiation absorbed by any material. A rad is equal to the absorption of a specific amount of work (100 ergs) in a gram of matter.

radiation - Particles and electromagnetic raysor  waves emitted from the nucleus of an atom during radioactive disintegration.

radioactive - Giving off, or capable of giving off, radiant energy in the form of particles (alpha or beta radiation) or rays (gamma radiation) by the spontaneous disintegration of the nuclei of atoms. Radioisotopes of elements lose particles and energy through the process of radioactive decay. Elements may decay into different atoms or a different state of the same atom.

radioactive waste - A solid, liquid or gaseous material of negligible economic value that contains radio nuclides in excess of threshold quantities except for radioactive material form post-weapons-test activities.

radioisotope - An unstable isotope of an element that eventually will undergo radioactive decay (i.e., disintegration). Radioisotopes with special properties are produced routinely for use in medical treatment and diagnosis, industrial tracers, and for general research.

radio nuclide - A radioactive species of an atom.

radon - A radioactive gas produced by the decay of one of the daughters of radium. Radon is hazardous in unventilated areas because it can build up to high concentrations and, if inhaled for long periods of time, may cause lung cancer.

rem - Roentgen equivalent man, a unit used in radiation protection to measure the amount of damage to human tissue from a dose of ionizing radiation. Incorporates the health risks from radiation.

risk communication - The exchange of information about health or environmental risks between risk assessors, risk managers, the general public, news media, interest groups, etc.

risk management - The process of evaluating alternative regulatory and non-regulatory responses to risk and selecting among them. The selection process necessarily requires the consideration of legal, economic and social factors.

S
SECY NRC Evaluation or Position Paper Prepared for NRC Commissioners by NRC Staff
SFP Spent Fuel Pool
SG Steam Generator

Safestor � See Decon

solidification - The conversion of either liquid or loose hazardous waste into a solid.

solubility - A measure of how much of a given substance will dissolve in a liquid. Usually measured in weight per unit volume.

somatic effects - Effects of radiation limited to the exposed individual, as distinguished from genetic effects, which also affect subsequent, unexposed generations.

stable isotope - An isotope of an element that is not radioactive.

T
TEDE Total Effective Dose Equivalent
TLD Thermoluminescent Dosimeter

threshold dose - The minimum dose of radiation that will produce a detectable effect.

toxic - Relating to a harmful effect by a poisonous substance on the human body by physical contact, ingestion or inhalation.

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