United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Question 448: If irradiated hardware, suspended (e.g., on

a lanyard) in the spent fuel pool, is potentially reading

greater than 500 rads/hour at one meter (i.e., if it were

removed from the pool), does access to this hardware

require posting and control as a Very High Radiation Area?

Answer: No. See Section 4.2, "Materials," in Regulatory

Guide 8.38, "Control of Access to High and Very High

Radiation Areas in Nuclear Power Plants." Also see Health

Physics Position document HPPOS-245 (NUREG / CR-5569).

Although this position document was written to address

access controls for spent fuel pool storage pools under the

unrevised Part 20 requirements for high radiation areas, it

also applies to these access controls under the revised

Part 20 requirements for both high and very high radiation

areas. The essential point is that although movement of

radioactive material stored in the pool has the potential

to create a high, or very high, radiation area around the

pool, those areas are not created until movement of the

material actually results in a radiation level, in an area

that is accessible to individuals, that meets the dose

criterion in the definitions of a high, or a very high,

radiation area. NRC Information Notice No. 90-33, dated

May 9, 1990, is also relevant. After providing reviews of

a number of events in which sources of unexpected

occupational radiation exposures were encountered in

activities associated with spent fuel storage pools, this

notice provides suggestions (which are not regulatory

requirements) for radiological control considerations that

can help minimize the possibility of unexpected exposures

from radiation sources in these pools. (References: 10

CFR 20.1602, 10 CFR 20.1601, 10 CFR 20.1003).

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, March 29, 2012