CSN Surveillance Network in the surroundings of facilities (PVRA)

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Surveillance Network in the surroundings of facilities (PVRA)

Red de vigilancia en el entorno de las instalaciones (PVRA)

Complying with its regulatory function, the Spanish Nuclear Safety Council (CSN) sets the requirements to be met by the environmental radiological surveillance programmes to be carried out by licensees in the surroundings of their facilities. The CSN checks the compliance with these requirements by assessing the programmes and their results, conducting periodic inspections and setting up independent control programmes either directly or through regional authorities.

Surveillance network in the surroundings of facilities (PVRA)

The CSN requires the licensees of nuclear power plants and nuclear fuel cycle facilities to develop environmental radiological surveillance programmes (PVRA) during the various phases of the facilities’ life. The PVRA starts several years before the facility operation starts in order to know the radiological conditions of the environment before the actual discharge of radioactive effluents to determine their radiological impact.

The programme is carried out by collecting and analysing samples in the facilities’ areas of influence. Most of the samples are collected in the main potential transfer routes through which the radioactive elements could reach the population. To achieve an appropriate confidence level in the results obtained by the PVRAs, the CSN requires the application of quality assurance systems to the environmental radiological surveillance, including written procedures covering the various phases of the programme. In addition, a percentage (5 – 15%) of the number of samples must be subjected to an analytical quality control which requires that the samples be analysed by two laboratories to check the degree of agreement between the results from both of them.

The facilities’ licensees send the results of the PVRA to the Council annually.

Independent Environmental Radiological Surveillance Programme (PVRAIN)

The CSN superimposes its own independent control programmes on the surveillance carried out by the licensees in the facilities’ areas of influence, carried out either directly or through programmes assigned to the regional authorities. The sampling points, type of samples and analysis carried out match those of the PVRAs, representing approximately 5% of them.