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B.4 (1): Occupational Radiation Protection and Risk Management for NPPs

The IAEA from June 2013 to June 2016 conducted a project that strengthened occupational radiation protection in the decommissioning of nuclear power plants (NPPs), while also considering other occupational risks.

Decommissioning involves processes such as cutting, demolishing, dismantling, removal and decontamination. Involved workers may be occupationally exposed to radiation and subject to other occupational risks. The project supported a coherent approach to control the occupational exposure and manage other occupational risks.


  • Strengthened occupational radiation protection during decommissioning of NPPs, facilities with radioactive material and remediation activities taking into consideration all occupational risks;
  • A coherent approach to manage occupational exposure to radiation and other risks (e.g. industrial hazards) in the decommissioning of NPPs to optimize consideration of all risks.

Beneficiary Countries: All Member States.

The project was conducted by the IAEA with supplementary funding from the European Union.

Project Events

During an IAEA Regional Workshop on Radiation Protection during NPP Decommissioning that took place in Vienna, Austria 16-19 June 2014, 15 operators, service providers and radiation protection experts from 14 Member States exchanged experiences in managing the protection of workers from ionizing radiation and other industrial hazards.

A Technical Meeting on Occupational Radiation Protection during the Decommissioning of NPPs and Research Reactors was held in Vienna 29 September -2 October 2014. Experts from 10 Member States and observers from the Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the International Labour Organization and the European Union identified and proposed additional guidance for managing the protection of workers against ionizing radiation and non-radiological hazards.

Coordination activities with international organizations

The IAEA coordinated work with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Organization OECD/NEA, including collecting experiences from the Information System on Occupational Exposure (ISOE).

Consultancy meetings

Between February and November 2015, the IAEA held five consultancy meetings during which experts from Canada, France, Germany, Lithuania, the UK and the USA developed an IAEA Technical Document titled Practical Occupational Radiation Protection in Decommissioning of Nuclear Installations: Important Aspects for Management, Planning and Conduct, expected to be published in 2019. The document covers:

  • The impact of decommissioning on protection of workers;
  • Adaptation of the radiation protection programme for decommissioning;
  • Radiological characterization and site preparation;
  • Consideration of non-radiological hazards.

The Technical Document targets managers involved in NPP and research reactor decommissioning. It is expected to be of use also in the decommissioning of other types of nuclear installations, and for regulatory authorities.

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