The NEA Expert Group on Occupational Exposure (EGOE) met for the first time in January 2007. The EGOE will build on operational and regulatory experience in NEA member countries, focusing on the use of existing databases, (such as the ISOE, the European Study on Occupational Radiation Exposure and other emissions databases) to identify where and how operational experience can support the review and development of occupational radiological protection guidance and good practice.
The group will also examine the development of operational radiological protection objectives or considerations for "new build" (including third and fourth generation reactors), for decommissioning and the exchange of regulatory and operational radiological protection experience in non fuel cycle sectors.
The group plans to explore the promotion of safety and as low as reasonably possible (ALARA) radiation exposure culture in new and growing industries; regulatory and self-assessment of ALARA programmes, current experience and evolution in stakeholder involvement (especially workers) in occupational radiation protection and practical approaches to itinerant worker management.
The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) has embarked on a broad programme of consultation of how radiological protection should be managed at the start of the 21st century. The results of this consultation will be a new set of comprehensive ICRP recommendations. Whilst the ICRP has no formal power to impose its recommendations, legislation in most countries adheres to them closely. Any changes in the new ICRP recommendations to the concept of dose constraints (a value above which specified actions are required to limit radiation exposure) and collective dose (the sum of the individual doses received over a given period of time by a specified population from exposure to a specified source of radiation) will have an impact on radiological protection policy, regulation and approach. The EGOE will investigate occupational radiation protection policy and practice in the light of these new recommendations. In particular, it will examine applying radiological protection optimisation, setting dose constraint values, using collective dose limits in occupational radiological protection and assessing stakeholder aspects of radiological protection optimisation.
The CRPPH assists NEA member countries in the implementation and enhancement of the system of radiological protection. It contributes to the adoption and the maintenance of high standards of protection for the public, workers and the environment in all activities involving the use of ionising radiations, and particularly, but not limited to the field of nuclear energy.
The ISOE was launched in 1992 by the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) to improve the management of occupational exposures at nuclear power plants through the collection and analysis of occupational exposure data and trends, and through the exchange of lessons learnt among utility and national regulatory authority experts. Since 1993, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has co-sponsored the ISOE programme, thus allowing the participation of utilities and authorities from non-NEA member countries.