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Risk Assessment
Risk Assessment and Federal Guidance Programs:  

Dose and Risk Calculation (DCAL) Software

Risk Assessment

DCAL is a comprehensive software system for the calculation of tissue dose and subsequent health risk from intakes of radionuclides or exposure to radionuclides present in environmental media.

The system includes extensive libraries of biokinetics and dosimetric data and models representing the current state of the art. DCAL maybe used either in an interactive mode or in a batch mode and is intended for experienced users with knowledge of computational dosimetry.

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Download Software, Instructions, Validation and Verification, and Documentation

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Background

Under the sponsorship of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Dosimetry Research Group (now the Biosystems Modeling Team in the Advanced Biomedical Science and Technology Group) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) developed a comprehensive software system for the calculation of tissue dose and subsequent health risk from intakes of radionuclides or exposure to radionuclides present in environmental media. This system serves EPA’s current needs in radiation dosimetry and risk analysis.

The Dose and Risk Calculation software, called DCAL, has been used in the development of two federal guidance reports (Federal Guidance Reports 12 and 13) and several publications of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), specifically in the computation of age-specific dose coefficients for members of the public (ICRP 1989, 1993, 1995a, 1995b, 1996).

DCAL is designed for use on a personal computer or scientific work station by users with experience in scientific computing and computational radiation dosimetry. The system consists of a series of computational modules driven by a user interface. DCAL may be used either in an interactive mode designed for evaluation of a specified exposure case or in a batch mode that allows non-interactive, multiple-case calculations on a PC or scientific work-station. Only the PC version of DCAL is being distributed.

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Application Niche

DCAL uses metabolic models from ICRP Publications 68 and 72 with data from ICRP Publications 23 and 89 to calculate dose per unit intake of over 800 radionuclides and combines that with risk models from EPA 402-R-93-076 Estimating Radiogenic Cancer Risks and EPA 402-R-99-003 Estimating Radiogenic Cancer Risks, Addendum: Uncertainty Analysis to develop average lifetime risk estimates for a unit intake of a radionuclide by a member of the US population either by ingestion, or by inhalation, or by injection. A detailed discussion can be found in EPA 402-R-99-001 Federal Guidance Report No. 13, , Cancer Risk Coefficients for Environmental Exposure to Radionuclides."

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Hardware Requirements

The DCAL system operates as a 32-bit console application on Pentium-class PC with Windows 95/98/NT/2000/XP operating systems. The installation requires about 30 Mbytes of space on the hard drive. Additional space is necessary for files generated during use of DCAL, with the total required space depending on the user’s housekeeping practices.

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References

Estimating Radiogenic Cancer Risks [EPA 402-R-93-076]
Presents radiation risks calculated with the models proposed to the RAC. It also includes risks due to radionuclide intakes and external exposures calculated with those models.

Estimating Radiogenic Cancer Risks, Addendum: Uncertainty Analysis [EPA 402-R-99-003]
This report provides numerical estimates of the risk per unit dose derived for each applicable cancer site, and for both low-LET and alpha-particle radiation.

Federal Guidance Report No. 13, Cancer Risk Coefficients for Environmental Exposure to Radionuclides [EPA 402-R-99-001]
This report provides numerical factors for estimating the risk of cancer from exposure to low levels of radiation.

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