Exposure of workers to ionising radiation should be kept as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA). Approaches to accomplishing this are developed through experience exchange and circumstance evaluation.
The Information System on Occupational Exposure (ISOE) Programme concentrates on the dissemination of good practices and experience in the area of occupational exposure reduction at nuclear power plants, using the extensive ISOE database, website, technical and information products, and ISOE regional and international As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA) symposia.
New nuclear power plants ("Generation III+") are likely to be evolutions of current designs ("Generation II"). It is therefore expected that much may be learnt about the performance of new plants by studying current ones. In this context, an NEA scoping group studied the issues around best available techniques (BAT) for the abatement of radiological discharges from new nuclear power plant designs.
The Expert Group on Occupational Exposure (EGOE) will build on operational and regulatory experience in NEA member countries, focusing on the use of existing databases to identify where and how operational experience can support the review and development of occupational radiological protection guidance and good practice.
The EGRPF will be responsible for managing the work of the CRPPH and its sub-groups as it relates to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident. While this does not necessarily mean that the group will be responsible for performing the work itself, it does mean that all relevant work will be co-ordinated by the EGRPF.
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.
The ISOE Bureau welcomed the proposal and also decided that close collaboration with the CRPPH Working Party on Nuclear Emergency Management (WPNEM) is necessary for this work. It is also indicated that the WGDA may take a leading role in assigning the experts and also work of the group with the active participation of the ISOE Technical Centers. It was noted that this activity would benefit from broad ISOE participation to ensure that the final product would be cohesive and valuable, and it was requested that a call for nominations be sent by the Secretariat to the full Management Board. Following this direction, a call for nominations to the newly established ad-hoc Expert Group on Occupational Radiation Protection in Severe Accident Management and Post-accident Recovery (EGSAM) was sent to the ISOE membership in December 2011.
It was expected from utilities representatives participating to the EGWC to provide a description of the way they managed their source term so as to prevent (limit) contamination of the primary coolant (pH, Zn injection, steam generator materials, radio-chemical spec. for operation, etc.) and the driving factors that lead to their current approach (cost, radiation protection, safety, etc.). These elements were debated and discussed within the expert group.
Decommissioning of nuclear power plants is a subject of growing importance for NEA member countries and will represent significant budgets and industrial activities in the future. Through various joint projects of the NEA, much experience has been gained in the technical aspects of decommissioning and dismantling, including providing for the safety of workers, the public and the environment. However, a number of challenges and uncertainties remain, particularly in field of occupational radiation protection (ORP) during the decommissioning of nuclear power plants. A joint ISOE / CPD topical session on decommissioning was organized on 5 November 2014 to discuss a proposal to establish of a new joint working group with the primary objective to discuss trends and areas that need to be studied further.