Occupational Radiation Exposure at Commercial Nuclear Power Reactors and Other Facilities 2009: Forty-Second Annual Report (NUREG-0713, Volume 31)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: March 2011
Date Published: May 2011

Prepared by:
D.E. Lewis
D.A. Hagemeyer*

* Oak Ridge Associated Universities
100 ORAU Way
Oak Ridge, TN 37830

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This report summarizes the occupational exposure data that are maintained in the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) Radiation Exposure Information and Reporting System (REIRS). The bulk of the information contained in the report was compiled from the 2009 annual reports submitted by five of the seven categories1 of NRC licensees subject to the reporting requirements of 10 CFR 20.2206. Because there are no geologic repositories for high-level waste currently licensed and no NRC-licensed low-level waste disposal facilities currently in operation, only five categories will be considered in this report. The annual reports submitted by these licensees consist of radiation exposure records for each monitored individual. These records are analyzed for trends and presented in this report in terms of collective dose and the distribution of dose among the monitored individuals.

Annual reports for 2009 were received from a total of 195 NRC licensees. Compilations of the reports submitted by the 195 licensees indicated that 189,124 individuals were monitored, 88,429 of whom received a measurable dose (Table 3.1).2 The collective dose incurred by these individuals was 11,892 person-rem, which represents a 5% increase from the 2008 value. This increase was due to the increase in collective dose at commercial nuclear power reactors, while the collective dose for other categories of NRC licensees decreased. The number of individuals receiving a measurable dose also increased, resulting in an average measurable dose of 0.13 rem for 2009. The average measurable dose is defined as the total effective dose equivalent (TEDE) divided by the number of individuals receiving a measurable dose.

In calendar year 2009, the average annual collective dose per reactor for light water reactor (LWR) licensees was 96 person-rem. This represents a 9% increase from the value reported for 2008 (88 person-rem). The increase in collective dose for power reactors was due to a 12% increase in total outage hours in 2009. During outages, activities involving increased radiation exposure such as refueling and maintenance are performed while the reactor is not in operation.

The average annual collective dose per reactor for boiling water reactors (BWRs) was 151 person-rem for 35 BWRs, and for pressurized water reactors (PWRs), it was 69 person-rem for 69 PWRs. Analyses of transient individual data indicate that 29,293 individuals completed work assignments at two or more licensees during the monitoring year. The dose distributions are adjusted each year to account for the duplicate reporting of transient individuals by multiple licensees. The adjustment to account for transient individuals has been specifically noted in footnotes in the figures and tables for commercial reactors. In 2009, the average measurable dose per individual for all licensees calculated from reported data was 0.13 rem. The corrected dose distribution resulted in an average measurable dose per individual for all licensees of 0.18 rem.

1 Commercial nuclear power reactors and test reactor facilities, industrial radiographers; fuel processors (including uranium enrichment facilities), fabricators, and reprocessors; manufacturing and distribution of byproduct material; independent spent fuel storage installations; facilities for land disposal of low-level waste; and geologic repositories for high-level waste. There are currently no NRC licensees involved in low-level waste disposal or geologic repositories for high-level waste.

2 The number of workers with measurable dose includes any individual with a dose greater than zero rem and does not include
doses reported as "not detectable."

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