Promoting the Use of Alternative Technologies
Radiation Source Reduction & Management
- Main Page
- About Source Reduction & Management
- Life-Cycle Analysis & Product Stewardship
- Sealed Radioactive Sources
- Common Industrial Uses
- Commonly-Used Radionuclides
- Alternative Technologies
- Alternatives: Development & Acceptance
- Alternative Technology Projects
- Stakeholders and Partners
EPA identified the major implementation barriers to industry acceptance faced by existing alternative technologies. To be accepted, the technologies must meet several criteria:
- be available and economically advantageous
- meet technical standards and retain versatility of the nuclear device
- gain approval from credible authoritative bodies
- be created with industry input
EPA's alternative technologies program strategies for fostering alternative technologies included both innovation and education.
Innovation (Promoting New Products or Removing Barriers)
EPA recognizes that the availability of cost-effective and viable technologies must be at the core of this initiative. EPA works with key federal and state partners, manufacturers, industry end-users, standards-setting bodies, and technical consultants in the evaluation, promotion, and demonstration of innovative alternative technologies.
We also use internal experts on alternative technology development to increase the visibility of existing technologies and nurture the development of new technologies. The program’s initial focus has been on fixed gauges, radiography cameras, and well logging devices.
In some sectors, a barrier to the commercialization of existing innovative technologies is the absence of standards that allow for, or support, the use of alternative technologies. EPA works with its partners to identify needed standards and support their development by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and other standards-setting bodies.
Sometimes a barrier to implementation of proven alternative technologies is regulatory uncertainty or conflicting regulatory language. EPA works with its partners to evaluate state regulations (e.g., use of x-ray technology in industrial settings in addition to medical settings) and support the development of uniform regulations.
Environmental Management Tools
EPA recognizes that management tools will be needed to assist in the development of alternative products. One such tool would assist manufacturers and end-users better understand the life-cycle issues and impacts associated with the use of gauges using radioactive versus an alternative technology.
Education and Outreach Materials
Alternative, non-nuclear technology devices currently exist. For the program to be successful, potential users must know about the products, and potential technology developers need to know about the opportunities to work with EPA. The life-cycle issues and impacts associated with the use of radioactive versus alternative technologies must be better understood by government, industry, academia and the public.