Occupational Radiation Exposure at Commercial Nuclear Power Reactors and Other Facilities 2011: Forty-Fourth Annual Report (NUREG-0713, Volume 33)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: December 2012
Date Published: April 2013

Prepared by:
D.E. Lewis
D.A. Hagemeyer*
Y.U. McCormick*

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

Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

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This report summarizes the occupational exposure data that are maintained in the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC’s) Radiation Exposure Information and Reporting System (REIRS) database. The bulk of the information contained in the report was compiled from the 2011 annual reports submitted by five of the seven categorie1of 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 2011 were received from a total of 194 NRC licensees. The summation of reports submitted by the 194 licensees indicated that 204,561 individuals were monitored, 88,606 of whom received a measurable dose (Table 3.1).2 When adjusted for transient individuals, there were actually 149,927 monitored individuals, 66,408 of whom received a measurable dose (see Section 5).

The collective dose incurred by these individuals was 11,097 person-rem, which represents a 5% increase from the 2010 value. This increase was primarily due to the increase in collective dose for industrial radiography licensees, as well as an increase in the collective dose for commercial nuclear power reactor licensees. The number of individuals receiving a measurable dose increased by 8% from the 2010 value. However, the average measurable dose of 0.13 rem for 2011 is the same as the 2010 value. 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 2011, the average annual collective dose per reactor for light water reactor (LWR) licensees was 84 person-rem. This represents a 1% increase from the value reported for 2010 (83 person-rem). The increase in collective dose for commercial nuclear power reactors was due to a 32% increase in total outage hours in 2011. 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 142 personrem for 35 BWRs and 55 person-rem for 69 pressurized water reactors (PWRs).

Analyses of transient individual data indicate that 31,910 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 nuclear power reactors. In 2011, the average measurable dose per individual for all licensees calculated from reported data was 0.13 rem. Although the average measurable dose per individual from data submitted by licensees was 0.13 rem, a corrected dose distribution resulted in an average measurable dose per individual of 0.17 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 individuals 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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