United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Health Physics Questions and Answers - Question 422

Question 422: This question refers to Question 95 under 10 CFR Part 19 and Question 81 under 10 CFR 20.1502. Clearly there is a significant population of occupationally exposed persons in unrestricted areas of whom the licensee has no knowledge. Even among their own employees, the licensed operation may be a small segment of the whole organization where license management treats the rest of the organization as general public. So presumably, the general principle of educating occupationally exposed persons has a dose threshold, e.g., something like the public dose limit; is this correct?

Answer: No. There is no such threshold. It is incorrectly assumed that any dose received by an individual while working is an occupational dose. [See the discussion of this point in the answer to Question 26 (a) "Occupational Dose vs. Public Dose."] A licensee may have an organization in which most of the workers are members of the public; these workers do not need and are not required to receive the kind of training outlined in 10 CFR 19.12. Workers who do receive an occupational dose (and therefore are not members of the public) should receive such training, whether required by 10 CFR 19.12 or not. For workers who must receive such training, there is no "dose threshold"; however, the extent of the instruction of these workers should be commensurate with the potential radiological health protection problems for these workers.

(Reference: 10 CFR 19.12)

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Friday, October 09, 2015