Industry Radiological Protection Coordination Group (IRPCG)

About Us

IRPCG provide a forum for the United Kingdom's Nuclear Industry to consider significant occupational radiological protection issues at a strategic level and provide a coherent approach as the industry develops.

We support:

  • Achievement of consensus on good practice for relevant issues either remitted to the group by the SDF, or identified by member organisations. This should lead to improved efficiency in procedures and confidence that good practices are "peer reviewed" and more likely to meet regulatory expectations.
  • Greater consistency (Operator Alignment).
  • Increased ability for learning from each other, leading to increased licensee and regulator confidence.
  • Facilitation of early awareness amongst member organisations of developing international/national legislation/guidance/major issues. This allows an early assessment of likely impact and opportunity to co-ordinate input and responses during developmental work. This should, in turn, lead to a combination of:
    •   Improved legislation and reduced costs.
    •   Benefits from "economy in scale" when working together on common goals.
    •   Sharing of information on current issues of interest to ONR, and outcomes from inspections, audits, etc.
    •   The ability for members to understand why particular approaches to radiological protection issues are taken by other members, which in turn can assist in responding to requests from external stakeholders.
    •   Staff development benefiting from exchange of relevant safety information. 
  • The production of intra-industry 'standards' (Nuclear Industry Code of Practice (NICoP) or Good Practice Guides (GPG)) which have/aim for regulatory consensus has generated significant benefits in ensuring common practices or improved wider operator understanding.
  • Additional Benefits/Added Value to Business implemented in the last twelve months include; continued updates to our web page (www.irpcg.org) including  'Personal Dosimetry Management' and 'Application of ALARP to Radiological Risk'.
  • The current key strategic radiological protection issues facing the industry are:
    • The impact the reduced dose limit of 20mSv (currently 150mSv) to the lens of the eye will have on the Industry, with no discernable and demonstrable safety benefit. IRPCG are currently working with SRP, and others, to debate this issue. This is also being followed through with a special task group of the International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA).
    • The proposed extension for the requirements for outside workers to include supervised areas and non-classified workers in the draft European Basic Safety Standard (BSS). IRPCG has responded to HSE on this proposal, stating that we see no benefit in the proposed change and were not supportive.

Programme of Work

Future Programme

In addition to the work streams arising from the issues identified above, IRPCG has used a structured process to identify other areas where collaborative work on further Nuclear Industry Codes of Practice (NICoPs) or Good Practice Guides (GPG) would be beneficial. The following Topics have been considered:

1.

An Air Sampling Good Practice Guide (ASGPG) is still on hold as AWE has conducted work in this area which has been made visible to the IRPCG. Additional work is being conducted at Sellafield and it has been agreed that this work should be completed before moving forward with the (ASGPG).

2.  

The adequacy of radiation protection training and trainers is of concern to IRPCG. A lot of work had   been done by Cogent and the National Skills Academy (Nuclear) without fully consulting the radiation protection community. IRPCG have been working with Cogent and the National Skills Academy (Nuclear) to improve this situation.

To support this and with the ‘buy-in’ of Cogent, a working group has been constituted by IRPCG on ‘Radiological Competence and Training’, with the initial remit to look at Health Physics Surveyor and Supervisor training and   competence standards. This group is initially discussing the requirements and   will then progress updates to the National Occupational Standards (NOS), in   consultation with Cogent and the National Skills Academy (Nuclear).

3.  

Other areas under consideration are:

  • IRPCG believe that two is the ideal number of NICoPs and GPGs that can be worked on coincidentally, possibly three under certain circumstances. With this in mind IRPCG propose the following NICoPs and GPGs to be worked on when the work programme allows:
    ·   Practical temporary containment for radioactive contamination.
    ·   Air sampling locations.
    ·   Co-operation between employers.
    ·   Use and maintenance of RPE and Assigned Protection Factors (APFs). [published Dec 2016]
  • Members of IRPCG are also involved in influencing the Cumbria University’s Foundation Degree in Health Physics.

4.  

International documents relating to radiation protection are under review and IRPCG has been liaising with the Regulator (HSE/ONR) to identify where appropriate legislative changes may be required, following publication of ICRP Recommendation 2007 (ICRP 103).

HSE/ONR has remained interested in all of the topics above, and participate in their development subject to availability.

Annual Summary

The IRPCG Annual Report is covered above.

More Information

Useful Documents

Links to other sites

Contact Us

For more information regarding this group please contact the chair: