United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Health Physics Position on Task Qualification of HP Technicians

HPPOS-238 PDR-9111210362

See the memorandum from L. J. Cunningham to J. H. Joyner (and others) dated September 20, 1991.

Health Physics Technicians (HPTs) may independently perform specific tasks or job assignments if they meet the required prerequisites and complete the required task qualifications of their plant training programs. There are certain tasks and job assignments, however, that require in-depth knowledge and can only be performed by fully qualified ANSI technicians.

ANSI / ANS 3.1-1987, "Selection, Qualification and Training of Personnel for Nuclear Power Plants," states that while in an initial training program an HPT may not make decisions (give authorization) or take actions affecting plant safety until they meet the performance requirements of the job position assigned. However, they may independently perform specific tasks or job assignments for which they are qualified.

HPTs are allowed to perform (without supervision) specific tasks or job assignments (i.e., radiation surveys, swipe surveys, air samples, and survey meter calibrations) if they meet the required prerequisites and complete the required task qualifications of their plant training program. However, there are certain tasks that require in-depth knowledge and can only be performed by fully qualified and experienced personnel.

The following general items are examples of areas which a non-fully qualified HPT should not be authorized to perform (without supervision):

  • The free release of radioactive materials from the restricted area.
  • Approval of effluent release permits.
  • Approval of radiation work permits.
  • Receipt and shipping of radioactive material.

Also, as examples in the area of Emergency Preparedness, a non-fully qualified HPT should not be authorized to:

  • Lead emergency search and rescue teams.
  • Lead environmental monitoring teams.
  • Perform offsite dose assessment.

Each Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) accredited licensee training program will vary somewhat in its approach on qualifying its HPTs. However, each program should be based on a systems approach to training (SAT). The SAT should include the following key areas: how were criteria derived to select tasks to be done without supervision, and how are HPTs evaluated against these criteria to permit / authorize them to work unsupervised.

Regulatory references: ANSI / ANS 3.1-1987

Subject codes: 1.1, 1.2

Applicability: Reactors

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Tuesday, June 30, 2015