Ionizing Radiation Sources and Respective Associated Workplaces

The State Office for Nuclear Safety performs a number of activities in the field of health and environmental protection against the adverse effects of ionizing radiation.
The scope and demanding character of work associated with the performance of the state administration and supervision in this field may be presented by data on the number of the ionizing radiation sources and workplaces with such sources. Pursuant to Act No. 18/1997 Coll., as amended, (hereinafter the "Atomic Act"), ionizing radiation sources are classified according to the increasing degree of possible personal health hazards and environmental hazards into five classes – unimportant sources, minor sources, simple sources, important sources and major sources. The higher the class of the sources, the more rigid and extensive are the requirements for assurance of radiation protection; the licensing procedure is more complicated and requires a thorough professional knowledge. Inspections are primarily focused on the management of the most potentially hazardous sources and relevant inspections are more frequent, extensive and detailed. In a similar way, the workplaces with such sources are classified into 4 categories, from the workplaces of the 1st category (the least hazardous) to the 4th category (potentially the most hazardous). The workplaces of the 4th category and the most important workplaces of the 3rd category are as follows:

  • Workplaces with nuclear reactors and associated process equipment (detailed in the second section of the report), particularly four operated power reactors in Dukovany NPP and two power reactors in Temelín NPP, 2 research reactors in ÚJV Řež, a.s. and one training reactor at the Nuclear Engineering Faculty of Czech Technical University in Prague;
  • The Interim Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Facility and the Radioactive Waste Repository in the premises of Dukovany NPP, the Radioactive Waste Repository in mine "Richard" near Litoměřice, see also the Radioactive Waste Repository Authority (RAWRA), the High-Level Waste Repository in ÚJV Řež, a.s.;
  • Uranium-mining industry workplaces - mining and processing of uranium ore in Dolní Rožínka, mine liquidation in the Příbram area and the closed mine Hamr, liquidation of chemical miningin the Stráž pod Ralskem area, and liquidation of sludge beds Mydlovary;
  • Workplaces with large industrial irradiators – workplaces for the irradiation of food (particularly spices), owned by company Artim Praha s.r.o. and the workplace for radiation sterilization of medical stores owned by company Biostér Veverská Bytíška a.s.

The workplaces producing and distributing, or using both open and sealed radionuclide high activity sources, particularly the workplaces of Prague companies Isotope Products Cesio s.r.o., Sorad s.r.o., Isotrend s.r.o., the Czech Metrology Institute, the workplaces of ÚJV Řež a.s. and the Nuclear Physics Institute of Czech Academy of Sciences Řež , and the workplace of the VF, a.s. company in Zbraslav, are among important workplaces of the 3rd category.

The categorization of workplaces with open sources is stipulated by the Decree 307/2002 Coll. in linkage to workplace equipment and to activities carried out at one place all at once, or to the form of processed substances and other criteria. The number of workplaces of 1st and 2nd category changed against last year, as some of the workplaces were consolidated and other workplaces are categorized as workplaces with minor ionizing radiation sources subject to the reporting duty.

Licensing of Practices Using Ionizing Radiation Sources

Administrative activities of the State Office for Nuclear Safety in the field of radiation protection predominantly consist of issuing licenses to handle ionizing radiation sources and licences to operate the 3rd or 4th category workplaces pursuant to Act No. 18/1997 Coll. This procedure concerns over 5,600 legal entities in the Czech Republic and most of them act in the field of health services.