United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Occupational Radiation Exposure at Commercial Nuclear Power Reactors and Other Facilities 2012: Forty-Fifth Annual Report (NUREG-0713, Volume 34)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: April 2014
Date Published: April 2014

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

*Oak Ridge Associated Universities
1299 Bethel Valley Road, SC-200, MS-21
Oak Ridge, TN 37830

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

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Abstract

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 this report was compiled from the 2012 annual reports submitted by five of the seven categories1 of NRC licensees subject to the reporting requirements of the Title 10 Code of Federal Regulations (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 are 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 2012 were received from a total of 200 NRC licensees. The summation of reports submitted by the 200 licensees indicated that 205,063 individuals were monitored, 86,042 of whom received a measurable dose (Table 3.1). When adjusted for transient individuals, there were actually 148,495 monitored individuals, 64,763 of whom received a measurable dose (see Section 5).

The collective dose incurred by these individuals was 10,089 person-rems (100,890 personmillisieverts [mSv]), which represents a 9% decrease from the 2011 value. This decrease was primarily due to a decrease in collective dose for industrial radiography licensees (7%), a decrease in the number of fuel fabrication licensees that reported (decreased from 11 to 9), and a decrease in the collective dose (8%) for commercial nuclear power reactor licensees. The number of individuals receiving a measurable dose decreased by 3% from the 2011 value. Furthermore, the average measurable dose decreased to 0.12 rem (1.2 mSv) in 2012 compared with the 2011 value (0.13 rem) (1.3 mSv). 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 2012, the average annual collective dose per reactor for light water reactor (LWR) licensees was 77 person-rems (770 person-mSv). This represents an 8% decrease from the value reported for 2011 (84 person-rems)(840 person-mSv). Although the total outage hours at commercial nuclear power plants increased by 22% from 2011 to 2012 [Ref. 1], there was a decrease in collective dose for this licensee category. This is an unusual situation since, historically, the collective dose increases whenever outage hours increase. Normally plant outages involve activities that contribute to increased collective dose. However, a significant portion of the outage hours for 2012 was accrued by plants preparing for permanent shutdown and, therefore, these outage hours did not involve typical high dose activities such as refueling. The average annual collective dose per reactor for boiling water reactors (BWRs) was 120 person-rems (1200 person-mSv) for 35 BWRs and 56 person-rems (560 person-mSv) for 69 pressurized water reactors (PWRs).

There were 33,518 individuals that were monitored for radiation exposure at two or more licensees during the monitoring year. The assessment of the average meaurable dose per individual is adjusted each year to account for the reporting of measurable dose for 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.


1Commercial 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.

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