RAC has a great deal of experience in developing and applying methods to determine how people may be exposed to contaminants in the environment and in assessing the health effects associated with such exposures. Depending on the situation, this may involve piecing together evidence to evaluate past exposures for historical dose reconstruction, evaluating the present-day situation at a facility or location and, if appropriate, the likely future impacts, or assessing the potential impact of planned or unplanned releases.

RAC team members possess code capabilities including:

  • MCNP: MCNP is a general-purpose Monte Carlo N-Particle code that can be used for neutron, photon, electron, or coupled neutron/photon/electron transport. Specific areas of application include, but are not limited to, radiation protection and dosimetry, radiation shielding, nuclear criticality safety, Detector Design and analysis, and decontamination and decommissioning.
  • ORIGEN: ORIGEN is a computer code system for calculating the buildup, decay, and processing of radioactive materials.
  • VARSKIN: The VARSKIN software package is a U.S. NRC computer code used by staff members, NRC licensees, and researchers in various fields to calculate radiation dose to the skin resulting from exposure to radiation emitted from hot particles or other contamination on or near the skin.

RAC uses off-the-shelf models when appropriate, but also specializes in the development of customized software for environmental data management and analysis, environmental transport modeling, and dose and risk assessment to ensure the computer tool is tailored to answering the client’s needs. This approach is possible because RAC team members are not only skilled in the science of risk assessment, but also in computer programming, database development, and GIS applications. RAC team members have extensive programming skills including fluency in FORTRAN, C++, Perl, Visual Basic, .Net/C#, php, and Javascript. As a matter of course, RAC applies quality management principles to the design, development, verification, benchmarking, and testing of the computer models it develops.

RAC team members have breadth and depth of knowledge and expertise in estimating health risks and identifying uncertainties in risks for people exposed to chemical and radioactive materials. We use state-of-the-art methods to conduct exposure and toxicological assessments and risk characterizations, and we excel at presenting results to technical audiences and the public alike.

Relevant projects: Fernald Dosimetry Reconstruction Project, Rocky Flats Historical Public Exposures Project, Assessment of Cerro Grande Fire, Rocky Flats Soil Action Level Project, Risk-based Screening for Releases to the Columbia River at Hanford, Uravan Historical Dose Reconstruction, Apollo Historical Dose Reconstruction, San Ildefonso Tribal Risk Assessment, Atomic Veterans Study

Selected Publications