Radiation protection and response in accident situations
Protección radiológica y actuación ante accidentes
The doses received by transport workers and the public can be limited not only by means based on packaging design but also by applying operational procedures such as:
• The external marking of the packaging and vehicles, warning of the radiological risks.
• The application of limits on the levels of radiation and contamination in packages and vehicles.
• Limiting the grouping of packages stowed in the vehicles.
• Keeping segregation distances among packages and persons.
The companies working in this area must develop a radiological protection programme (RPP) for transporting radioactive materials, the purpose of which is to comply with the regulatory principles of optimization and limitation of doses. The RPP sets the measures and controls to apply to the transport to ensure compliance with the regulations for protecting health against ionising radiations.
The response actions to an emergency during the transport of radioactive materials are integrated in the general response to accidents when transporting hazardous goods, even though special actions are required which are associated with the specific risks of this type of dangerous materials. The response includes three basic phases:
• Initial phase: first response by the personnel of the carrier company with the support of the immediate action services such as the Spanish Military Police, Fire Brigades and medical services.
• Assistance phase: support of the shipping companies and the Spanish Nuclear Safety Council, including the help of radiological protection experts and the adoption of radiological assessment measures and corrective and protective actions.
• Recovery phase: the cleaning of the affected area and the radiological surveillance of the responders and affected population.