United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Question 447: Is the spent fuel pool, when containing

irradiated fuel, required to be posted and controlled as a

Very High Radiation Area under any of the following


a. When there are no activities underway involving the

spent fuel pool?

b. When underwater manipulation of irradiated fuel or

other irradiated hardware is underway?

c. When diving operations in the spent fuel pool are


d. Are there other considerations that could affect

requirements for posting and controlling access to the

spent fuel pool?


(a) No.

(b) No.

(c) The answer depends on the particular circumstances of

the diving operations. See discussion under (d) below.

(d) See Health Physics Position documents HPPOS-016 and

HPPOS-245 (NUREG / CR-5569) for additional information

concerning access controls for spent fuel pools and

HPPOS-002 for additional information concerning diving

operations in a spent fuel pool. These position documents

refer to 10 CFR 20.203 (c) of Part 20 prior to the 1991

revision with respect to posting and control of high

radiation areas; however, these positions continue to be

applicable with respect to posting and control of both high

and very high radiation areas under 10 CFR 20.1601, 10 CFR

20.1602, and 20.1902 (b) and (c) of the revised Part 20.

These position documents emphasize that when a diver enters

the pool to perform "under pool-surface duties" or upon

movement of highly radioactive materials stored in the

pool, proper health physics controls must be initiated. IE

Information Notice No. 90-33, dated May 9, 1990, provides

suggestions for radiological control considerations that

can help minimize the possibility of unexpected exposure

from radiation sources in spent fuel pools. (References:

10 CFR 20.1602, 10 CFR 20.1902, 10 CFR 20.1003).

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, March 29, 2012