Update legislation on radiation protection 2018

On October 3, 2017, it was time again for the annual seminar of the Radiation Protection Group (RPG) by Philips Innovation Services, Environment, Health & Safety. This time it was held at the Van der Valk hotel in Eindhoven.

Radiation Protection Seminar 2017

Top topic: Radiation protection legislation in 2018 and the Basic Safety Standards Radiation Protection Decree

Like every year, a subject was addressed that appealed to many organizations. Many organizations still have the necessary questions concerning the changes in the field of radiation protection legislation that will take place in 2018. The Radiation Protection Decree will then be replaced by the Basic Safety Standards Radiation Protection Decree.

Given the large number of participants from different organizations and industries, it turned out that the changes and the related questions and ambiguities cover the entire field of radiation applications.

Radiation protection seminar opening

The day was opened by Willy Enzing, Managing Consultant PES, who gave the floor to the first speaker, Peter Görts (Senior Policy Officer at ANVS) after a brief explanation of Philips Environment, Health & Safety.

Implementing ICRP 103 and the 2013 European Basic Safety Standards

Peter Görts spoke about the legislation in 2018 with a substantive explanation about the implementation of the recommendations of ICRP 103 and the 2013 European Basic Safety Standards. These European standards are implemented in the new Bbs Decree, the Rbs Regulations and the ANVS Regulation (Vbs)

A point he raised was the adjustments that would be made with regard to the control system. These concerned the gradual approach, the use of exemption and clearance in the control system and the handling of naturally radioactive material, including Radon.

Exemption and clearance of radioactive substances

Then it was Martijn van der Schaaf (Program Coordinator Radiation Protection at the RIVM) who went further into the aspect of exemption and clearance of radioactive substances. The central question here was: Is regulation necessary forever and at what bottom level do we start?

In a number of cases, it is not necessary to regulate because the level of protection is already optimal and then there may be an exemption from regulation. In other cases, it is no longer necessary to regulate and then there can be clearance. In both cases, the radiological risk must be sufficiently low and the actions must be justifiable.

Practical consequences of new legislation

The last speaker for lunch was Bas Vianen (General Coordinating Expert VU/VU MC) who spoke about practical consequences of new legislation. He drew many examples of changes to the current regulations.

Striking aspects that were discussed were that the 100-kV limit ceased to exist. This also means that almost all medical applications require a license.

For professional exposures, the lowering of the lens-lens dose limit from 150 to 20 mSv/year and the introduction of the lead-apron correction factor are particularly important changes.

A final point that emerged was external employees and working with third parties. The responsibilities of external personnel will be changed. The primary responsibility for radiation hygiene is for the (own) employer, and activities with third parties are subject to a permit requirement in a number of cases.

Then it was time for the (extended) lunch where the social contacts were again strengthened and there were good discussions between the participants and the speakers about the topics that had been discussed in the morning.

Training radiation protection personnel: then and now

Immediately after lunch, Patricia Bekhuis (Lecturer Radiation Protection at TU Delft, location Utrecht) spoke about the history and status of the new training structure for personnel responsible for radiation protection.

Apart from the fact that the terminology changes, there are several changes, especially for the Radiation Protection Officer. The training courses for a Radiation Protection Officer (RPO, TMS Toezichthoudend Medewerker Stralingsbescherming in Dutch) are divided into 9 application areas:

  • 3 medical
  • 1 nuclear
  • 5 industrial

The final objectives for these programs have been set by a committee per application area.

Recognized training institutes will therefore no longer offer level 5 and level 4 courses from February 2018, but will instead offer application-oriented TMS courses. The certificates obtained in the past remain valid.

Workshops: new legislation, transport, dealing with natural radioactive substances, measuring in case of unforeseen events

After the presentations, workshops were held by PES-RPG employees who had a clear relationship with the given presentations. The subjects were new legislation, transport, dealing with natural radioactive substances and measuring in case of unforeseen events. During the workshops, a number of questions that had arisen during the course of the day could be clarified among the participants, due to the good conversations and discussions that took place there.

After the workshops and the plenary feedback, the formal part of the day was concluded by Willy Enzing. The informal part was continued with a snack and a drink.

All in all, it was again a beautiful day where everyone had a very positive contribution.

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