Information System on Occupational Exposure (ISOE) provides a forum for radiation protection professionals from nuclear electricity utilities and national regulatory authorities worldwide to share dose reduction information and operational experience to improve the optimisation of worker radiological protection at nuclear power plants. In addition, ISOE with its participating utilities and regulatory authorities is a core group in developing safe, sustainable and societally acceptable strategies for emerging issues in the field of occupational radiation protection.
At its meeting in May 2011, the ISOE Bureau was presented a new proposal dealing with the current situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to provide a view on management of high radiation area worker doses. The proposal on occupational radiation protection in severe accident management and post-accident recovery was introduced and discussed in detail by indicating that similar other effective ISOE expert group reports on Radiological Work Management at Nuclear Power Plants, ISOE, with a new ad-hoc expert group, could address the experience of various ISOE utilities with various RP management approaches for highly contaminated areas, selection of proper RP protective tools and clothes including remotely operated instruments, means to fix and eliminate contamination, access procedures to the site, shielding, emergency/accident individual dosimetry and its assessment, psychological aspects, etc. Members of the ISOE Bureau also noted that severe accident management should not be viewed only with respect to technical issues, but also from the worker perspective. Consequently, psychological aspects need to be assessed and addressed.
The ISOE Bureau welcomed the proposal and also decided that close collaboration with the CRPPH Working Party on Nuclear Emergency Management (WPNEM) is necessary for this work. It is also indicated that the WGDA may take a leading role in assigning the experts and also work of the group with the active participation of the ISOE Technical Centers. It was noted that this activity would benefit from broad ISOE participation to ensure that the final product would be cohesive and valuable, and it was requested that a call for nominations be sent by the Secretariat to the full Management Board. Following this direction, a call for nominations to the newly established ad-hoc Expert Group on Occupational Radiation Protection in Severe Accident Management and Post-accident Recovery (EGSAM) was sent to the ISOE membership in December 2011.
The objective of the ad-hoc EGSAM was to develop a report on best radiation protection management procedures for proper radiation protection job coverage during severe accident initial response and recovery efforts to identify good radiation protection practices and to organise and communicate radiation protection lessons learnt from previous reactor accidents.
The outcome of the work was an ISOE publication on occupational radiation protection in severe accident management to find broad use within the NPP radiation protection community.
The EGSAM undertook its work by:
The ISOE was launched in 1992 by the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) to improve the management of occupational exposures at nuclear power plants through the collection and analysis of occupational exposure data and trends, and through the exchange of lessons learnt among utility and national regulatory authority experts. Since 1993, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has co-sponsored the ISOE programme, thus allowing the participation of utilities and authorities from non-NEA member countries.