In order to assess the risk of radiological consequences of incidents and accidents in nuclear facilities it is important to contemplate their frequency of occurrence. It has to be shown that incidents and accidents occur sufficiently seldom according to their radiological consequences i. e. the occurrence frequency of radiological doses has to be limited. This is even demanded by the German radiation protection ordinance (StrlSchV), which says that in nuclear facilities other than nuclear power plants (NPP) in operation and for decommissioning, the occurrence frequency of incidents and accidents shall be contemplated in order to prove the design of safety measures and safety installations.
Based on the ideas of the ICRP64, we developed a risk based assessment concept for nuclear facilities, which fulfils the requirements of the German regulations concerning dose limits in normal operation and design basis accidents. The general use of the concept is dedicated to nuclear facilities other than nuclear power plants (NPP) in operation and for decommissioning, where the regulation of risk assessment is less sophisticated. The concept specifies occurrence frequency limits for radiation exposure dose ranges, i. e. the occurrence frequency of incidents and accidents has to be limited according to their radiological effects.
To apply this concept, scenarios of incidents and accidents are grouped in exposition classes according to their resulting potential effective dose to members of the general public. The occurrence frequencies of the incidents and accidents are summarized in each exposition class whereas the sum must not exceed the frequency limits mentioned above.
In the following we introduce the application of this concept in the assessment of the potential radiological consequences of the decommissioning of a nuclear research reactor. We carried out this assessment for the licensing process of the decommissioning on behalf of German authorities.