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B.4 (1): Occupational Radiation Protection and Risk Management for NPPs

Project Rationale

More and more nuclear power plants (NPPs) are facing decommissioning in the coming years. Smooth decommissioning of NPPs is of great importance for the further development of nuclear energy. Compared with the operation of NPPs, the experiences for decommissioning are still not sufficient, e.g. occupational radiation protection and risk management during decommissioning is one of the crucial issues.

In the decommissioning process such as cutting, demolishing; dismantling; removal and decontamination, in addition to occupational exposure, the workers may also be subject to other kinds of risks. A coherent approach to control the occupational exposure and manage other kinds of risk would be very important for decommissioning.


  • To strengthen the occupational radiation protection in the decommissioning of NPPs, taking into consideration all the occupational risks


  • Strengthened occupational radiation protection during decommissioning of NPPs, facilities with radioactive material and remediation activities taking into consideration all occupational risks;
  • A coherent approach to manage occupational exposure to radiation and other risks (e.g. industrial hazards) in the decommissioning of NPPs to optimize consideration of all risks.

Beneficiary Countries: All Member States

This project is part of the IAEA’s approved Programme and Budget for 2014-15 and is included under IAEA Project on “Radiation Protection of Workers”. The project is conducted by the IAEA with supplementary funding from the European Union.

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Output 1: A harmonized occupational radiation protection programme for decommissioning

Achievements to date:

Report on the results of a “Workshop on Radiation Protection during NPP Decommissioning”
The Workshop was aimed at operators, service providers and radiation protection experts and was held in Vienna 16-19 June 2014, with 15 participants from Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Japan, Lithuania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and United States of America. The output from the workshop has been presented in a meeting report.

The report can be found here.

Report on the results of a “Technical Meeting on ORP during the Decommissioning of Nuclear Power Plants and Research Reactors”
This Technical Meeting was aimed at regulatory authorities and was held in Vienna 29 Sep – 2 Oct 2014 with experts from Bulgaria, Canada, China, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, Russian Federation, Sweden and observers from OECD/NEA, ILO and EU.

B41 TM group

The output from the Technical Meeting has been presented in a report.

Coordination activities with ILO and OECD/NEA, including collection of data from ISOE (Information System on Occupational Exposure)

This is an on-going work with to avoid duplication of work, and to have a synergistic effect by taking advantage of specifically the experiences within the ISOE system. ISOE has recently started a working group on ORP in Decommission (WGDECOM), and the IAEA participated at the first meeting of the WGDECOM in Paris 8-9 June 2015 and presented the current status of the project.

In addition a presentation of the project was also held at the International ISOE Symposium in the end of May 2015 in Rio de Janeiro. Click here for the materials.

Output 2: Guidance material for occupational radiation protection and risk management in NPPs, decommissioning and improved methods for optimization of protection and safety

Achievements to date:

Between February and April 2015, three consultancy meetings have been held to develop a draft guidance material based on the output from the workshops. Experts from UK, France, Germany, Canada, US, and Lithuania participated at these meetings. The material will contain guidance on a practical level, to be used in managing radiation protection of workers during both the planning phase and the conduct of decommissioning activities. It will support the relevant IAEA safety standards in occupational radiation protection and decommissioning. It is planned to be published as an IAEA Tecdoc with the proposed title: Practical Occupational Radiation Protection of Nuclear Installations: Important Aspects for Management, Planning and Conduct.

The document is aimed at managers involved in decommissioning activities of nuclear power plants and research reactors. Part of the guidance may also be useful for the decommissioning of types other nuclear installations and also for regulatory authorities.

The draft document consists of three main sections with practical guidance and examples from decommissioning experiences at different operators and member states:

• Impact of decommissioning on protection of workers; including guidance on changes in hazards and safety culture and RP aspects on decommissioning strategies;

• Set-up of occupational radiation protection for decommissioning; including guidance on RP program, establishment of RP organization, radiological characterization, site preparation, contamination control and considerations of non-radiological hazards;

• Occupational radiation protection aspects on conduct of decommissioning activities; which includes practical guidance on RP optimization, selection of technique, detailed planning and characterization, knowledge transfer, training and qualification etc.


1st CS 6 February 2015, 2nd CS 15 April 2015, 3rd CS 22 April 2015.


4th Cs 6-10,July, 2015, 5th CS 9-13, November 2015

Upon completion of five rounds of technical consultation meetings, the TECDOC ‘Practical Occupational Radiation Protection in Decommissioning of Nuclear Installations: Important Aspects for Management, Planning and Conduct’ was finalized. The TECDOC has the following chapters:

- Impact of decommissioning on protection of workers

- Adaptation of the radiation protection programme for decommissioning

- Radiological characterization and site preparation

- Consideration of non-radiological hazards

The project was successfully completed and final version of TECDOC is to be submitted to the Agency’s publication committee.

Disclaimer: The documents mentioned above have been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The views expressed therein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Union.

| Last update: Friday, 11 March, 2016.