Federal agencies Workplace exposures

NRC mulls changes in radiation protection

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Washington – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is considering changes to its radiation protection regulations.

In an advance notice of proposed rulemaking published in the July 25 Federal Register, NRC said it hopes to better align its regulations with recommendations made in 2007 by the International Commission on Radiological Protection. The purpose of NRC’s regulations is to protect workers and members of the public from ionizing radiation, which can be found in occupational settings such as health care facilities, research institutions, and nuclear reactors and their support facilities.

Topics mentioned in the ANPRM include:

  • Consider changing terminology to align more closely with ICRP.
  • Examine reducing occupational exposure limits to eye lenses.
  • Look at reducing dose limits for pregnant workers.
  • Evaluate “as low as is reasonably achievable” planning requirements.

In a separate but related action, NRC said it plans to issue an advance notice of proposed rulemaking about the agency’s design objectives governing dose assessments for radioactive effluents from light-water-cooled nuclear power reactors.

NRC intends to conduct a series of public meetings about the potential changes.