Radiological protection for small modular reactors in focus at 33rd ISOE Management Board meeting

33rd ISOE Management Board Meeting

Members of the Management Board of the Information System on Occupational Exposure (ISOE) convened for their 33rd meeting in Vienna on 4-7 December.

The Management Board of the Information System on Occupational Exposure (ISOE), administered jointly by the NEA and the IAEA, held its 33rd meeting in Vienna on 4-7 December 2023.

The ISOE Management Board is composed of leading experts representing 77 nuclear licensees and 27 regulatory authorities from 31 countries participating in this joint undertaking. The Management Board meets annually to make rules, approve policy and governance documents, and provide direction consistent with the objectives and provisions of the ISOE Terms and Conditions as may be required for the sound management of the Programme. Staff of the four ISOE Technical Centres (Asia, Europe, North America and other non-NEA member countries served by the IAEA) as well as the Joint NEA/IAEA Secretariat invariably support those meetings.

The meeting was hosted by the IAEA and included seventeen agenda items, particularly – but not exclusively – two topical sessions on occupational radiological protection (as focused on the Thirteen ISOE Strategic Goals for 2022-2026) as well as on the radiological protection (RP) challenges and health physics aspects associated with small modular reactors (SMR). Presentations at the second topical session dealt with:

  • First conclusions of the NEA/CRPPH Task Force on the RP challenges associated with the deployment of SMRs;
  • IAEA activities on SMR safety;
  • Key issues of the RP design for the ACP-100 SMR in China; and
  • RP aspects on the Rolls-Royce SMRs in the UK and the NUWARD SMR project in France.

The brainstorming session following the plenary was devoted to the future involvement and role of the ISOE in this domain.

Thirteen oral and one written country reports with dose information and principal events from 2022-2023 were given to the audience by the national co-ordinators from Canada, China, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Slovenia, Sweden, the UK and the United States.

The Management Board reviewed the feedback from the decisions, agreements, commitments, actions and recommendations of its previous meeting in December 2022 and determined, among other things, to endorse:

  • ISOE Programme achievements and the Technical Centres’ performance in 2023 as presented in the relevant consolidated reports;
  • ISOE documents and publications drafted by the Joint NEA/IAEA Secretariat since the 32nd Management Board meeting;
  • Keynote activity report of the Vice-Chair for the ISOE Working Group on RP Aspects of Decommissioning Activities at Nuclear Power Plants (WGDECOM) on the performance under its Programme of Work (2020-2023), the continuation of WGDECOM in 2024-2027, and their new Terms of Reference;
  • ISOE Terms and Conditions for the next 4-year period (until 2027); and
  • ISOE Programme of Work in 2024.

Steps were identified for further extension of the ISOE membership by encouraging more utilities/licensees and regulatory authorities to participate in the Programme. Initiatives were considered for a broader involvement of younger health physicists in the ISOE activities and database.

The meeting of the Management Board was followed by a half-day ISOE Bureau and Technical Centres briefing, primarily focusing on the feedback from the decisions of their previous meeting in April 2023. Actions for implementing the agreed ISOE Programme of Work in 2024 and beyond were outlined.

The next Management Board, Bureau and Technical Centres meetings will be hosted by Électricité de France (EDF) and held in December 2024.

Visit here for more information on ISOE's programme of work.

See also