Mobile Chemistry Trailer – Designed & Built by RSCS


   This summer the Environmental and Engineering Support Team has been working on a unique project, constructing a mobile chemistry trailer. Energy Solutions requested a Chemistry Trailer to support chemistry and counting room analysis for lake discharges, well samples, water chemistry during the RVI process and, analyze soil samples and open-air demo air samples during the D&D process, final status surveys (FSS), and support of the license termination plan (LTP) throughout the site. FSS samples will be counted over the life of the project. The Chemistry trailer will also house the two Tennelecs which will be in service until all waste is removed from the site.

   Chemistry and counting facilities are normally housed in a chemistry lab. D&D requires the evacuation of all buildings on site. To maintain chemistry and counting of all samples temporary facility will be needed, that will be moved. Given industry practices the modification of a semi-trailer has proven to be a good equivalent to a lab facility.

   The Trailer will be the last piece of equipment that leaves the site when D&D and FSS are complete. This project had several engineering challenges, such as reinforcing the floor to take the weight of 4 gamma caves, Tennelecs, and an LSC. Doors, windows, and an HVAC system were also added with a lot of custom fabrication. Separate sinks for regular waste and contaminated, plenty of outlets for additional equipment, and two workstations. 

   The result was a unique mobile lab that can be deployed around the country.


RSCS Attains EPRI AP3 Certification Compliancy Renewal

In order to give nuclear utilities confidence in the skill sets of their temporary workforce, and to reduce the cost of redundant site training for routine maintenance tasks that are common to all utilities, EPRI developed a standard series of evaluations that have been vetted by industry groups, such as the Institute of Nuclear Power Operators (INPO), that can be used for standardized testing of RP technicians. A set of guidelines for administering performance evaluations, the Administrative Protocol for Portable Practicals (AP3), was developed to ensure the consistent appraisal of RP technicians’ skills.  

In October 2016, as a provider of RP technicians, RSCS engaged EPRI to participate in administering task evaluations as an AP3 provider. On October 17, 2018, the final step in this process was complete, a quorum of EPRI members made up of nuclear operators, international unions, and nuclear supply and services vendors voted unanimously to assign RSCS AP3 Certification. This certification recognized RSCS as one of a very limited group of companies that have demonstrated the appropriate administrative controls, processes, and expertise to implement STEs. This certification enhances RSCS’ status as a vendor of choice for RP technician support, as our capacity to offer pre-qualified RP technicians reduces in-processing time and related costs. The successful completion of STEs, which may only be conducted by AP3 Certified organizations, allows RP Technicians to attain various task qualifications that will be accepted throughout the nuclear industry. 

The AP3 process includes a periodic renewal assessment. In June of 2023, an “on-site” renewal assessment occurred. This assessment was performed by a team of four EPRI and industry observers, who attended a STE demonstration conducted by RSCS at the RSCS Home Office. The attainment of this AP3 Certification Compliancy Renewal is one more example of RSCS’ commitment to supporting safe nuclear operations in the US.


Radiation Safety Officer Training 2023

RSCS has offered world-class Radiation Safety Officer training since 2016. Our instructors have over a hundred years of combined experience in the field of Radiation Protection, most with advanced degrees and professional Radiation Protection certifications. Our students come from a wide range of fields including medical, manufacturing, research, government, and military, just to name a few. We tailor our course to a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. At the end of the 5-day course, students receive a Certificate of Completion. Here’s what some of our students had to say about our RSO course:

“I liked the vast and varied amounts of information presented and the diverse levels of knowledge of the instructors.”  September 2022, Chase Sheley, Applied Materials

“I liked the real-life experiences the instructor shared with the class and how they relate to our individual jobs.”  June 2023, Rachel Cox, Cape Fear Analytical (Wilmington, NC)

Our next class will be held September 18-22, 2023, at our Seabrook, NH facility.  There are still a few openings available. Contact us today to register and earn your Radiation Safety Officer Certification for 2023. 

Learn more about our 2023 Training Courses:

Contact Us at 1-800-525-8339 or send us a message


NS Savannah featured in a recent NPR story


   National Public Radio recently did a story on the Nuclear Ship Savannah. The link to this article is below. RSCS and our Joint Venture partner Energy Solutions were awarded a five-year contract in 2021 to decommission the NS Savannah. The project is unique in that it is a first-ever combination of NRC License Termination, Coast Guard maritime integrity requirements, and Compliance with the NS Savannah’s National Historic Registry designation. These three unique challenges require a “surgical” decommissioning and a multi-faceted approach. The large and complex project is on budget and on schedule. The bulk of the nuclear components and contaminated systems have been removed. Final material removal will be completed by late Fall and the Ship husbandry, detailed surveys, and technical basis for license termination will be the primary focus. Last November the major milestone of the reactor vessel removal and transport was completed. In this story, the RSCS NS Savannah Radiation Safety Officer provides some insight and perspective on the project.

NRP article:


RSCS Water Tank Demolition Project


   RSCS has been setting up a demolition project at a southern US Nuclear Station. The subject of the project is to segment a 150,000-gallon contaminated water storage tank to support packaging for disposal. This tank has been situated outside of the site’s restricted area, where segmentation activities will be performed. RSCS will be providing comprehensive services with minimal reliance on the site’s infrastructure, while fully meeting the Site’s stringent controls. RSCS is responsible for leading the project and ensuring radioactive material controls for both workers and the environment are fully met. The comprehensive “layers” of controls being deployed include a large tent containment structure outfitted with HVAC and HEPA ventilation, contamination fixative, specialty cutting techniques, fencing, and a full RCA control point trailer. RSCS also provides all instrumentation, all consumables, and staffing including project management, radiation protection, health and safety, and the demolition crew. Demolition activities are planned to commence in mid-May and complete in June – before going too far into hurricane season. The Site’s confidence in RSCS to perform these activities outside of the boundaries of the site’s restricted area is notable. This project demonstrates the special and unique capabilities of RSCS by combining our operational talent, staffing, fixed and portable instrumentation capabilities, technical analysis, and our key specialty partners.


Ellen Anderson presents at the 2023 Wissink Memorial Lecture

   Ellen Anderson, Director of Radiological Services, was chosen to make the 2023 Wissink Memorial Lecture at the 54th Northern Central Chapter of the Health Physics Society meeting on April 21st, in Madison Wisconsin. This annual lectureship memorializes Robert Wissink’s lifelong service and contributions to health physics and the North Central Chapter.

  Ms. Anderson’s presentation titled “Health Physics in 2023: Bridging the Knowledge Gap” explained how consultants, and especially RSCS, are providing training and professional health physics and radiation protection expertise to nuclear power plants, medical, industrial, and government agencies.

Jessica Joyce, President NCC HPS (left) & Ellen Anderson (right)


RSCS featured in National Geographic – NS Savannah

National Geographic recently published an article on the Nuclear Ship Savannah. The link to this article is below. RSCS and our Joint Venture partner Energy Solutions were awarded a five-year contract in 2021 to decommission the NS Savannah.  The project is unique in that it is a first-ever combination of NRC License Termination, Coast Guard maritime integrity requirements, and Compliance with the NS Savannah’s National Historic Registry designation. These three unique challenges require a “surgical” decommissioning and a multi-faceted approach. The large and complex project is on budget and on schedule with a recent major milestone of the reactor vessel removal and transport completed with “flawless execution”.

NS Savannah Nat Geo Article 2


Watch the Video of NS Savannah Decommissioning Project featuring RSCS



RSCS Expands On Site Manufacturing Capabilities With Our New Pick & Place Machine

Our new Neoden Pick & Place Machine gives us the capabilities of making the circuit boards for our industry leading SIM-Teq line of radiation simulators 100% in-house, in Seabrook NH. This machine eliminates the need for outsourcing or hand-placing circuit board components. This in-house build capability combined with increased design abilities and supply chain optimization efforts all combine to further improve the build times and delivery reliability—so critical during these challenging manufacturing times.  


Neutron Characterization at Vogtle Unit 3

(RSCS Team Outside Vogtle Unit 3)

    The call came in on the morning of April 1st, “Tim, Vogtle Unit 3 has synced to the grid”.  Tim Rogers, Radiation Safety and Control Services (RSCS) senior Health Physicist, recalls.  “I thought it was an April Fool’s joke” states Tim.  It couldn’t have been the worse week to suddenly travel to northeastern Georgia as The Masters (The Masters Golf Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club) was starting the next day.  “There were no hotel rooms, rental cars, or airline tickets to be had in northeastern Georgia, thankfully one of our team members lived in North Carolina and was able to drive a rental car from there.  We found late night flights and hotel rooms near Savannah.”  RSCS team members (Tim Rogers, Heather Baxter, and Nate Blouin) gathered suitcases, equipment, and supplies and headed to Vogtle Unit 3 to perform the first neutron characterization measurements on an AP-1000 in the United States.  

   The purpose of the study was to provide an evaluation for site specific neutron dosimetry correction factors in support of power ascension startups and operations at Vogtle Unit 3. Neutron characterization and correction factor measures have been performed for years for dry fuel storage campaigns, Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installations (ISFSIs pads), and operating nuclear power plants.  In 2016, RSCS personnel successfully completed the evaluation for the initial power ascension at TVA’s Watts Bar. 

   Neutron characterization is important.  Most nuclear plants have a variety of fields which have different energy spectrum.  Neutron dosimeters respond to the energy curve variations.   A site-specific correction factor is needed to address the variation in the response.   American Nuclear Insurer’s (ANI) Bulletin 11-02 “Neutron Monitoring” requests utilities evaluate the performance of their personnel dosimetry to neutron radiation fields.  These measurements are used to validate dose estimates to workers.

   The neutron measurements will be performed on three different containment elevations at locations representative of personnel neutron exposure for three different power levels, 25%, 50%, and 100%.   The measurement methodology was developed by RSCS personnel in response to ANI Bulletin 11-02. Each measurement location consists of Dosimeters of Legal Record (DLR) and Neutron Electronic Dosimeters (ED) mounted on a 30 x 30 x 15 cm polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) phantom.  The dosimeters were positioned on a tripod representative of the height of a human torso and measured within the specifications of ANSI N13.11(2009).  This configuration allowed for the detection of low-energy albedo neutrons backscattered from the human body. 

   The PMMA phantoms, with the dosimeters attached, were placed at three site specified locations based upon survey data and representative of location where workers could be exposed to neutron dose.  At each site, the DLRs and EDs were placed in the direction of the highest field, typically towards the reactor.  The dosimeters were exposed until each dosimeter received approximately 50 mrem of integrated neutron dose equivalent. At the lowest power and location of lowest neutron dose rate, the dosimeters were exposed for 75 hours.  

   All locations were surveyed for neutron and gammas dose rate using handheld neutron survey meter and ion chamber. All locations were also measured with a Tissue Equivalent Proportional Counter (TEPC) and a neutron survey meter.  The TEPC measures mixed-field gamma and neutron radiation.  It records the energy spectra of the protons and electrons created in the detector’s shell from neutrons and gamma radiation in kEV/μm. The instrument measures absorbed dose, dose equivalent, and LET spectra minute by minute.  The TEPC was placed on a tripod directly adjacent to the face of the phantom. The neutron spectrophotometer was laid on top of the phantom with the sealed chamber position in the direction of the field. The survey meters exposure time varied from 22 minutes to 21 hours.

   Upon completion of the measurements, the DLRs will be evaluated by the NVLAP accredited dosimetry vendor without any applied Neutron Correction Factors (NCF). RSCS will use the data from the TEPC and the data from the DLRs, EDs, and neutron survey meters to determine average NCFs per work task and location for each set of instruments. All measured neutron dose equivalent rates will be calculated based on the first principles of the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) software for the TEPC. Quality factors equivalent to 10CFR20 (ICRP-26) are used to calculate the neutron dose equivalent rates from the recorded absorbed dose rates on the TEPC. NCFs for survey instruments will also be determined.

    This measurement was a personal milestone for Jay Tarzia and Eric Darois, 2 of the founders of RSCS. Back in 1990, Jay and Eric performed a very similar study for the initial power ascension at Seabrook Station using a TEPC and a neutron spectrometer. Since then, there has only been one power ascension neutron study and Vogtle represents the second. RSCS appreciate the dedication and hard work our team has done to continue to carry this expertise.

Article by Heather Baxter, CHP, CSP, Manager of Technical Services, Radiation Safety and Control Services