Hanford Environmental Radiation Oversight Program

The Hanford Environmental Radiation Oversight Program provides oversight of the U.S. Department of Energy (Energy) radiation monitoring programs. Energy's environmental radiation monitoring programs determine the impact of Hanford releases on the environment and the public. The Department of Health program independently verifies the quality of Energy's program. The objectives of the oversight program are to:

  • Independently verify the quality of Energy's monitoring programs at the Hanford Site by conducting sampling at locations having the potential to release radionuclides to the environment or areas where releases may have an impact.
  • Use data from Energy and Health to assess the potential impact on people by comparing radionuclide concentrations in samples with background samples. Note that Health's monitoring program is intended to be oversight and not a program that finds and reports the highest levels of environmental contaminants.
  • Address public concerns about environmental radiation at Hanford.

When there are accidents at Hanford that involve potential radioactive releases, Health oversees monitoring and clean-up of the affected sites. Health developed the Hanford Guidance for Radiological Cleanup (PDF) with process for using a dose-based cleanup standard when property at Hanford is released for public use.

Hanford Site-wide Risk Review Project

At the request of the U.S. Department of Energy, a risk review project for the Hanford Site by the Consortium for Risk Evaluation with Stakeholder Participation (CRESP) began in January 2014. CRESP includes representatives of several higher education leaders including Vanderbilt University, Howard, Rutgers, New York University, Georgia Tech, and the University of Arizona.

CRESP is conducting a comprehensive review of Hanford to catalog and classify risks and impacts to the public, workers, and the environment. CRESP invited the public to comment on their methodology through Friday, October 3, 2014. information is available from the CRESP Hanford Risk Review Project.