The Radiation Protection Computer Code Analysis and Maintenance Program (RAMP)

The NRC initiated the Radiation Protection Computer Code Analysis and Maintenance Program (RAMP) for the development, maintenance, and distribution of the NRC's vast array of radiation protection, dose assessment, and emergency response computer codes. The benefits of RAMP are:

  • Access to the most current versions of the code.
  • Code maintenance, development, benchmarking, and uncertainty studies.
  • A cooperative forum to resolve code errors and inefficiencies.
  • Technical basis documents and user guidelines for applying the codes, and periodic meetings to share experiences, discuss code development.
  • Periodic training on the codes.

Currently, the codes in RAMP include:

  • RASCAL: The RASCAL code is a tool used by the Protective Measures Team in the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC's) Operations Center for making independent dose and consequence projections during radiological incidents and emergencies. RASCAL was developed by NRC over 25 years ago to provide a tool for the rapid assessment of an incident or accident at an NRC-licensed facility and aid decision-making such as whether the public should evacuate or shelter in place. RASCAL evaluates atmospheric releases from nuclear power plants, spent fuel storage pools and casks, fuel cycle facilities, and radioactive material handling facilities. Its data is not the only criterion used by the local authorities during an accident, but certainly an important one.

  • RADTRAD: The RADionuclide, Transport, Removal, and Dose Estimation (RADTRAD) code is a licensing analysis code used to show compliance with nuclear plant siting criteria for the site boundary radiation doses at the Exclusion Area Boundary (EAB) and the Low Population Zone (LPZ) and to assess the occupational radiation doses in the control room (CR) and /or Emergency Offsite Facility for various loss-of-coolant accidents (LOCA) and non-LOCA design basis accidents (DBAs). RADTRAD uses a combination of tables and numerical models of source term reduction phenomena to determine the time-dependent dose at the CR, EAB and LPZ for given DBA scenarios.

  • VARSKIN: Computer code for calculating Skin dose. VARSKIN assesses compliance with the dose criteria of 10 CFR Part 20. The code is used to perform confirmatory calculations of licensees' submittals regarding skin dose (from both beta and gamma sources) estimates at any skin depth or skin volume, with point, disk, cylindrical, spherical, or slab (rectangular) sources, and even enables users to compute doses from multiple sources.

  • GALE: The FORTRAN based gaseous and liquid effluent (GALE) code estimates the quantities of radioactivity released by a plant through liquid and atmospheric discharges during routine operations for pressurized-water reactors (PWR) and boiling-water reactors (BWR).

  • DandD: The Decontamination and Decommissioning (DandD) software package, developed by NRC, assesses compliance with the dose criteria of 10 CFR Part 20, Subpart E. Specifically, DandD embodies NRC's guidance on screening dose assessments to allow licensee s to perform simple estimates of the annual dose from residual radioactivity in soils and on building surfaces. For a screening assessment with DandD, NRC has predefined conceptual models for the scenarios along with default parameter distributions (based on NUREG/CR–5512, Volumes 1 and 3).

  • HABIT: Computer code for evaluating control room HABIT ability. The HABIT code is an integrated set of computer programs used mainly to estimate chemical exposures that personnel in the control room of a nuclear facility would be exposed to in the event of an accidental release of toxic chemicals.

  • Radiological Toolbox: The Radiological Toolbox provides ready access to data of interest in radiation safety and protection of workers and members of the public. The data include dose coefficients for intakes of radionuclides, external exposure to radionuclides distributed in environments, and for exposures to photon and neutron radiation fields. Other supportive data include interaction constants and coefficients for alpha, beta (i.e., electron), gamma (i.e., photon or x-ray) and neutron radiations, nuclear transformation data, biological, radiological and physiological data, and supplemental information on various related topics.

  • PiMAL: Phantom with Moving Arms and Legs is a graphical user interface with pre-processor and post-processor capabilities which assists users in developing MCNP input decks and running the codes. It allows users to easily generate quantitative figures of merit regarding positioning arms and legs in difference geometries. PIMAL software is considered an efficient and accurate tool for performing dosimetry calculations for radiation workers and exposed members of the public.

For information regarding RAMP codes or how to join, please visit the RAMP website.