The ISOE provides a forum for radiological protection (RP) professionals from nuclear licensees and regulatory organisations worldwide to share exposure dose information and operational experience to improve radiological protection. The ISOE provides its members with:
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 Information System on Occupational Exposure (ISOE), continues to facilitate the exchange of data, analysis, experience and lessons learnt in occupational radiological protection (RP) at nuclear power plants worldwide. It maintains the world’s largest occupational exposure database and a network of utility and regulatory authority RP experts.
At the end of 2019, the ISOE Programme included 76 utilities and 29 regulatory authorities from 31 participating countries. The ISOE Programme operates in a decentralised manner. Decisions and overall direction are provided by the ISOE Management Board, composed of representatives from utilities and regulatory authorities from all participating countries. The ISOE Bureau, elected by the Management Board, guides ISOE and Secretariat work between Management Board meetings. Both are supported by the joint NEA/IAEA Secretariat. Four ISOE Technical Centres (Asia, Europe, North America and other non-NEA member countries served by the IAEA) serve the programme’s day-to-day technical operations and are contact points for the transfer of information from and to participants. A national co-ordinator in each country provides a link between ISOE participants and the ISOE programme. Specialised working and expert groups are created on an as-needed basis by the Management Board to support the goals of the ISOE on specific topics. There is currently one active working group: the Working Group on Radiological Protection Aspects of Decommissioning Activities at Nuclear Power Plants (WGDECOM).
The ISOE occupational exposure database contains information on occupational exposure information for 349 operating units and 57 units in cold shutdown or at some stage of decommissioning in 31 countries, thus covering about 80% of the world’s operating commercial power reactors. The ISOE database, publications, benchmarking visits and annual symposia, along with the ISOE Network website, facilitate the exchange among participants of operational experience and lessons learnt in the optimisation of occupational radiological protection.
In 2019, the ISOE programme continued to concentrate on the exchange of data, analysis, good practices and experience in the area of occupational exposure reduction at nuclear power plants, and on improving the quality of its occupational exposure database.
Key outcomes of work during 2019 include the collection and integration of 2018 data into the ISOE database and the publication of ISOE country reports for 2018, the publication of a new ISOE information sheet, and the organisation of two benchmarking visits.
The ISOE programme organised an International ALARA Symposium in Beijing (China) in October 2019 and the North American Regional ISOE Symposium in Key West (USA) in January 2019. These symposia serve as important venues for utilities to meet in an international setting.
The ISOE participation includes nuclear electricity utilities and national regulatory authorities which participate under the ISOE Terms and Conditions. Official participants include (as of June 2015):
The ISOE operates in a decentralised manner. A management board of representatives from all participants, supported by the NEA and the IAEA, provides overall direction. Four ISOE technical centres (Asia, Europe, the IAEA and North America) manage the programme's day-to-day technical operations. National co-ordinators in each country serve as contact points for the transfer of information from and to participants.
The ISOE is jointly administered by the NEA and the IAEA.
Built on a global network of RP professionals from nuclear electricity utilities and national regulatory authorities, ISOE provides the world's most comprehensive source of experience, information and data for occupational exposure management at nuclear power plants. The ISOE provides an operational experience base for identification and assessment of good practices and facilitates the input of operational experience into the development of radiological protection recommendations, standards, etc.
The ISOE facilitates global co-operation between utilities, the sharing of experience and the building of linkages between ISOE regions to develop a global approach to ALARA exposure management. The ISOE offers its members a variety of relevant resources, including:
For past annual reports, please visit the ISOE website.
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 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.