United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Monitoring and Training of shipers and Carriers of Radioactive Materials (Generic Letter 95-09, Supplement 1)

UNITED STATES
NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
OFFICE OF NUCLEAR REACTOR REGULATION
WASHINGTON, DC 20555-0001

APRIL 5, 1996

NRC GENERIC LETTER 95-09, SUPPLEMENT 1: MONITORING AND TRAINING OF SHIPPERS AND CARRIERS OF RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS

Addressees

All U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Licensees.

Purpose

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing this supplement to clarify the guidance provided in NRC Generic Letter 95-09, "Monitoring and Training of Shippers and Carriers of Radioactive Materials," issued November 3, 1995. It is expected that recipients will review the information for applicability to their facilities and consider actions, as appropriate, to avoid similar problems. However, no specific action or written response is required.

Description of Circumstances

Generic Letter 95-09 was issued to provide NRC licensees with guidance on satisfying the training and monitoring requirements for personnel employed by shippers and carriers making deliveries or picking up packages from the licensee's facilities. After issue of the generic letter, NRC and carrier and shipping companies received a large number of telephone calls and other correspondence from licensees inquiring as to the applicability of the guidance to their facilities. Shippers and carriers also received large numbers of requests from NRC licensees to provide evidence that personnel picking up or delivering packages at the licensees' facilities had been trained. Most of these requests came from licensees to whom the training requirements did not apply.

Analysis of the inquiries and requests indicated that they resulted from misunderstandings of current NRC regulations, and also a lack of awareness of the most recent NRC regulations in the affected areas. This supplement is being issued in an attempt to clarify the issues that caused misunderstandings when Generic Letter 95-09 was issued.

Discussion

The misunderstandings that became apparent after issue of Generic Letter 95-09 can be classified into the following issues.

1.

Who needs to be trained: The old 10 CFR 19.12 stated, in part:

All individuals working in or frequenting any portion of a restricted area shall be kept informed of the storage, transfer, or use of radioactive materials or of radiation in such portions of the restricted area; shall be instructed of the health protection problems associated with exposure to such radioactive materials or radiation, in precautions or procedures to minimize exposure, and in the purposes and functions of protective devices employed;...

In other words, this requirement stated that anyone entering the restricted area must be trained. A large number of licensees interpreted the generic letter in light of this regulation, and therefore requested proof of training for any carrier personnel who entered their restricted areas.

This part of the regulation has been changed, effective August 14, 1995, and the revised 10 CFR 19.12 states, in part:

(a) All individuals who in the course of employment are likely to receive in a year an occupational dose in excess of 100 mrem (1 mSv) shall be-

(1) Kept informed of the storage, transfer, or use of radiation and/or radioactive material;
(2) Instructed in the health protection problems associated with exposure to radiation and/or radioactive material, in precautions or procedures to minimize exposure, and in the purposes and functions of protective devices employed;

Whereas under the old regulation, anyone who entered the licensee's restricted area had to be trained, the new regulation requires training only for those who are likely to receive an occupational dose in excess of 1 mSv (100 mrem) in a year. Therefore, those workers, including carrier personnel, who are not likely to receive a dose in excess of 1 mSv (100 mrem) in a year, do not require training to satisfy the requirements of 10 CFR Part 19.

2.

Where is the 1 mSv (100 mrem) in a year received: The revised 10 CFR Part 19 sets a threshold of 1 mSv (100 mrem) in a year for training of occupationally exposed personnel. Furthermore, the training requirement is no longer tied to entry into a restricted area; any worker who is likely to receive an occupational dose in excess of 1 mSv (100 mrem) in a year, inside or outside the restricted area, requires training in accordance with 10 CFR 19.12. The 1 mSv (100 mrem) in a year applies to doses likely to be received as a result of the licensee's activities, which usually means as a result of entry or work in the licensee's facility. It does not include doses received at other than the licensee's facilities, whether or not licensed by NRC. An employee of a carrier company may, in the course of a year, receive a total dose of well over 1 mSv (100 mrem). However, this dose will be received as a result of making deliveries at many NRC-licensed and other facilities, as well as during transportation and loading activities outside such facilities. Each NRC licensee, however, in evaluating that person's training requirements, should consider only that part of the dose likely to be received at that licensee's facility. If that part of the person's dose exceeds 1 mSv (100 mrem) in a year, then training is required; otherwise, training is not required, regardless of that person's total dose during the year.

The 1 mSv (100 mrem) in a year that may be received at a licensee's facility applies to the dose received by a given individual as a result of one or many visits to the licensee's site during the calendar year. If each delivery or pickup during the year is made by a different carrier person, then each person should be evaluated on the basis of doses likely to be received during his/her single visit to the site. If the same person makes the deliveries or pickups during the year, then the dose that is likely to be received would need to include the likelihood from the total of all the site visits made by that person during the year. The training requirements are assessed on that basis.

3.

To whom does the guidance in Generic Letter 95-09 apply: The generic letter stated the following:

NRC licensees may choose any method that they consider capable of providing assurance that carrier personnel have received the proper training and are being properly monitored for radiation exposure. In the case of carriers whose programs are established in compliance with DOT requirements, a letter from the carrier certifying that their personnel are training and monitored under the provisions of such a program would be sufficient to show compliance with the applicable sections of 10 CFR Parts 19 and 20. Another method, applicable in cases where the carrier's program is not established in compliance with DOT requirements, would be to obtain and review copies of the carrier's programs to ensure their adequacy.

NRC licensees are responsible for implementing NRC requirements at their facility. In the case of persons who may receive a dose in excess of 1 mSv (100 mrem) in a year, the licensee is responsible for ensuring that the person has received the training specified in 10 CFR Part 19, regardless of whether that person is or is not an employee of the licensee. The quote from the generic letter noted above states that, although it is the licensee's responsibility to ensure that the person affected by the regulations is trained, the licensee need not provide the training, as long as training is provided under an acceptable training program. The generic letter also stated that training programs established to satisfy Department of Transportation (DOT) requirements would be acceptable. This means that, if a worker is trained by the carrier to satisfy DOT radiation protection program requirements, then that training is acceptable to NRC. Carrier training programs do not have to be established under DOT requirements to be acceptable. Other accredited radiation training programs would also be acceptable, such as programs established under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements, which apply to training of transportation workers. It should be noted, however, that training programs provided by carriers to their employees are normally of a general nature and do not include discussion of issues related to a specific licensee's site. Should specific training be required because of the nature of the hazards at the licensee's site, then the licensee must ensure that site-specific training is also provided to carrier personnel who may require such training.

4. Who needs to be monitored: Monitoring requirements are specified in 10 CFR 20.1502. According to these requirements, in the case of external exposures, all persons likely to receive, in one year, a dose in excess of 5 mSv (500 mrem) must be monitored for radiation exposure. This monitoring is the responsibility of the licensee in whose facility the dose is received. The same considerations discussed above in connection with training also apply to monitoring. The 5 mSv (500 mrem) in a year applies to doses likely to be received at the licensee's facility and not to the dose that may be received by the persons in other facilities. Monitoring implemented under recognized radiation protection programs, such as those established in accordance with DOT or OSHA regulations, would be acceptable to satisfy the monitoring requirements in 10 CFR Part 20.

It should be noted that provision of monitoring by the carrier does not relieve the licensee of the responsibility for radiation exposures incurred at their site. Specifically, the licensee is responsible for implementing any ALARA (as low as is reasonably achievable) measures that may be appropriate, as required by 10 CFR . 20.1101(b), for all persons exposed to radiation at the licensee's facility, irrespective of who provides the required training and monitoring for the exposed individuals.

If you have any questions about this matter, please contact the technical contact listed below or the appropriate regional office.

       

signed by

Donald A. Cool, Director
Division of Industrial and Medical Nuclear Safety
Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards

Technical contact: Sami Sherbini, NMSS
(301) 415-7902
Internet:sxs2@nrc.gov
Page Last Reviewed/Updated Friday, June 28, 2013