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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - RASCAL


1. What type of computer do I need to run RASCAL 4.3.3?
RASCAL 4.3.3 can be installed on computers running the Windows 7 or later operating system. The installation process requires administrative rights on the computer. Additionally, the software will run correctly only with the Windows Regional and Language Options set to English (United States). It is strongly recommended that RASCAL 4.3.3 users download and read the “RASCAL 4.3.3 Installation Document” (PDF) prior to installing the code.


2. How much computer disk space does RASCAL 4.3.3 need to install?
The RASCAL 4.3.3 software installation requires about 70 MB of disk space. It is strongly recommended that RASCAL 4.3.3 users download and read the “RASCAL 4.3.3 Installation Document” (PDF) prior to installing the code.


3. Will RASCAL 4.3.3 run on my tablet (iPad, Android) or smartphone?
No, RASCAL 4.3.3 was developed for computers running the Windows 7.0 or later operating system and will not run on a tablets or smartphones.


4. Will RASCAL 4.3.3 run on a Mac or MacBook Pro?
Yes, although RASCAL was not developed for the OS X operating system some users have run RASCAL on Macs in a Windows emulator or virtual machine. However, there is no technical RASCAL support for this type installation.


5. What do I do if I can’t get RASCAL 4.3.3 to install correctly?
Verify that the “RASCAL 4.3.3 Installation Document” (PDF) was followed. If the installation error still persists then:

  • RAMP Members – submit a RASCAL help request by logging into the U.S NRC RAMP website and selecting the “RASCAL Support” navigation link.


1. What is the latest version of the RASCAL software and how can I obtain a copy?
The latest version of RASCAL is version 4.3.3 which was released by the U.S. NRC on September 30, 2017. Individuals interested in obtaining this version of the code should check out the “Registration for the RASCAL Code” navigation link on the U.S. NRC RAMP website.


2. Is there a fee associated with obtaining a copy of RASCAL 4.3.3?
For US Federal, State and Local government agencies there is no fee to obtain RASCAL version 4.3.3. For all other users the fee varies based upon their designation category, see the table located at the “Registration for the RASCAL Code” link on the U.S. NRC RAMP website.


3. Can I share my copy of the RASCAL 4.3.3 installation file with others?
No, RASCAL 4.3.3 users are required to complete a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) for their copy of the software. The NDA states that the user agrees not to share their copy of RASCAL with any third party without obtaining prior written permission from the NRC.


4. What if I have multiple users at my facility, do I need to fill out an NDA for each user?
No, the NDA allows for the RASCAL user to list multiple users of RASCAL code at their facility/site on the NDA.


1. What is RASCAL and what is it used for?
RASCAL is the acronym for the Radiological Assessment System for Consequence AnaLysis (RASCAL) computer software. RASCAL was developed by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) as a tool to provide for rapid dose assessment and consequence projections during radiological incidents. The RASCAL software is used for emergency response and not for emergency planning purposes.


2. How often is the RASCAL computer software updated?
RASCAL is typically updated every 12 to 18 months. Earlier updates would be issued if significant problems are identified in the software.


3. Who typically uses the RASCAL computer code?
RASCAL is one of the tools used by the NRC Incident Response Program for making independent confirmatory dose and consequence projections during radiological incidents. RASCAL is also used by many Federal, State and Local government agencies as well as some NRC licensees to make protective action recommendations and decisions during radiological incidents.


4. Is RASCAL only used domestically in the US?
No, RASCAL is used by many international government agencies and is an important computer code in the US NRC’s Radiation Protection Computer Code Analysis and Maintenance Program (RAMP).

5. Is there a forum that RASCAL users can go to discuss questions related to the models used in the RASCAL code?
- Yes, the RASCAL forum is available on the RAMP website to all RASCAL users. However, only RAMP members can post to the forum. To access the RASCAL forum select the “RASCAL Support” navigation link on the U.S. NRC RAMP website, which provides access to the “RASCAL Forum". RASCAL Forum topics include:

  • Code Error (Bug) Reporting
  • RASCAL Model Questions
  • General RASCAL Usage Questions
  • General Emergency Preparedness Questions


6. Is there training available for the RASCAL users and if so how can I get more information about the training available?
Yes, RAMP members can get training information (including training course dates, online training modules and presentations) by selecting the “RASCAL Training & Presentation” link on the U.S. NRC RAMP website.


7. Is there a user manual for RASCAL and where can I find technical documentation for the code?
Yes, the RASCAL user guide is available at the “Download the RASCAL User Guide” navigation link and RASCAL technical documents including the NUREGs are available at the “Download RASCAL Technical Documents” navigation link on the U.S. NRC RAMP website.


1. What should I do if I get an error message or the RASCAL code crashes while I am using it?
Non-RAMP members should review the “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)” link and the “Error (Bug) Reports” forum board for the message. Non-RAMP members have read-only access to the “Error (Bug) Reports” forum board and cannot post new topics.


RAMP members have several tools available to help them trouble shoot and resolve RASCAL error messages and code crashes. RASCAL users experiencing error messages or code crashes should log into the U.S. NRC RAMP website and select the “RASCAL Support" navigation link. This link will triage them through the following trouble shooting steps:

  • Select the “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)” link to review the FAQs for the error message and if not listed then,
  • Select the “RASCAL Forum” link to review the “Error (Bug) Reports” forum board for the error message and if not listed then,
  • Select the “New Topic” button on the “Error (Bug) Reports” forum board to add this error message to the forum. Be sure to include the following information in the “scope of request” section:
    • What version of the RASCAL program is running?
    • What Operating system is being used (i.e. Windows 7.0)?
    • Is the error message reproducible?
    • What are the exact steps leading up to the error?
    • What is the exact symptom (e.g. program crashes, error message number, etc.)?
    • Provide a screen shot of the error message and attach the saved case file if possible.


2. Is there a “Help” tool associated with the RASCAL code?
Yes, the RASCAL computer code contains a Help file which provides explanations of the graphical user interface (GUI) screens and default values for data entry fields. The technical information regarding the models and methods used by the RASCAL computer code to perform calculations can be found in the RASCAL NUREGs at the “Download RASCAL Technical Documents” navigation link on the U.S. NRC RAMP website.


3. Is there any customer support or troubleshooting help available to RASCAL users using an older version of RASCAL (i.e., version 4.3.3)?
Yes, there is very limited RASCAL support available for users with an earlier version of the RASCAL software. This support is limited to the most previous version of the code being distributed under U.S. NRC RAMP. Currently, this is RASCAL version 4.3.3 and this support is limited to the read-only “Announcements” section of the “Error (Bug) Reports” on the U.S. NRC RAMP website.


4. Is there a contact phone number to receive help with the RASCAL software?
No, there is no single contact phone number for the RASCAL software. Since RASCAL development and distribution is a collaborative effort between the US NRC RAMP and RASCAL Development Teams, RASCAL users receive efficient and timely customer support by using the “RASCAL Support” navigation link on the U.S. NRC RAMP website.