United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Health Physics Questions and Answers - Question 118

Question 118: 10 CFR 20.1101 (c) requires that each licensee "periodically (at least annually) review the radiation program content and implementation." A nuclear power plant has many reviews and audits (including quality assurance audits) of various aspects of their radiation protection programs during a year and reviews are on a schedule that covers all phases of the program on a 2-3-year review cycle. Is this acceptable to the NRC?

Answer: Yes, provided that the combination of these reviews and audits covers program content and implementation. Reviews and audits at nuclear power plants should incorporate the following features to assess procedural compliance, technical performance, implementation, and effectiveness of the facility radiation protection program.

Radiation protection supervisory reviews:

Onsite radiation protection supervisors should periodically perform and document reviews of the effectiveness of the radiation protection staff in such areas as radiological work practices, work monitoring, procedural compliance, and survey adequacy.

Quality assurance audits:

Quality assurance audits should be performed by the onsite auditing group. Personnel in the auditing group should have sufficient radiation protection training or experience so they can determine whether radiation protection functions are being performed as required. The quality assurance program audits should meet the requirements of Appendix B to 10 CFR Part 50.

Corporate or contract audits:

Offsite (corporate or contract) audits and evaluations should be performed to determine whether the radiation protection program complies with the regulations and other requirements and whether plant-wide objectives are being met as well as to identify needed program improvements.

(Reference: 10 CFR 20.1101)

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Wednesday, October 07, 2015