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MCS Support for Clearance of Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site (RFETS), USA


The site closure project involved a range of projects such as:

  • “Trench One” project
    The trench contained an unknown number of drums containing uranium wastes of different enrichment with some Am/Pu contamination, also some mixed debris.
  • “Am Pad zone” project
    Drums containing waste solvents and coolants, contaminated with U and Pu/ Am, resulted in a land area of approximately 33 acres (13 hectares) which required monitoring.
  • Analysis of packages containing mixed isotopic samples for transport purposes with a non destructive method to determine the class, type and category of radioactive material shipments.
  • Characterization of structures to meet criteria for unrestricted release under the Multi-Agency Radiological Site Survey Investigations Manual (MARSSIM).

Key Drivers:

The goal of this project was mainly to support the accelerated closure of Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site (RFETS) and reduce the overall cost.

Instruments & Techniques Used:

  1. ISOCS™ In situ gamma object spectroscopy system
  2. Mobile “trailer mounted” laboratory gamma spectroscopy systems

CANBERRA™ Solution:

  • Fast response: a team was mobilized within three weeks of the contract award, and deployed a CANBERRA trailer with a full set of analytical equipment, provided procedures for approved operations, training and certifications.
  • Collaboration was formed with Kaiser Hill, LLC Analytical Services and CANBERRA Mobile Characterization Services (MCS), with 24 hour turn-around services for over 350 samples.


  • Significant cost savings of ~$600,000 were realized for the 1100 measurements avoiding the need for any costly analytical assays.
  • Reduced use of strong, tight boxes for asbestos shipment resulted in savings of between $1,000,000 and $2,000,000 per building.
  • Contribution to the accelerated site closure.
  • Minimizing planned labor, time, disposal and procurement costs.
  • Decommissioning project completed ahead of schedule.

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