THE AIMS OF THIS RESEARCH ARE :
- TO PUT INTO PERSPECTIVE THE METHODOLOGIES USED IN THE CONTEXT OF THE MANAGEMENT OF RADIOLOGICAL AND OTHER INDUSTRIAL RISKS;
- TO DEMONSTRATE THE METHODOLOGICAL SIMILARITIES BETWEEN THE TWO FIELDS ON THE BASIS OF CASE STUDIES CONDUCTED IN THE NON-NUCLEAR FIELD.
THE CEPN'S WORK ON THE MANAGEMENT OF RADIOLOGICAL RISKS DUE TO :
- NORMAL OPERATION OF NUCLEAR PLANT;
- THE TRANSPORT OF RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS
HAS MADE IT POSSIBLE TO ARRIVE AT A CONSISTENT STANDARD PRESENTATION FOR ALARA STUDIES.
ALARA STUDIES VERY BROADLY DISPLAY THE FOLLOWING COMMON STRUCTURE :
- IDENTIFICATION AND ANALYSIS OF THE SYSTEM GENERATING THE RADIOLOGICAL RISK, INCLUDING, IN PARTICULAR, DEFINITION OF THE SCOPE OF THE ALARA STUDY AND DEFINITION OF THE ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS TO BE COMPARED;
- CALCULATION OF THE PERFORMANCE, WITH REGARD TO THE REDUCTION OF THE RADIOLOGICAL RISK, AND ECONOMICS OF EACH OPTIONS;
- USE OF A QUANTITATIVE TECHNIQUE WITH A VIEW TO SELECTING THE ALARA OPTION.
SINCE THE ALARA STUDY IS AN AID TO DECISION-MAKING, BUT DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE DECISION-MAKING PROCESS ITSELF, THE FINAL CHOICE OF OPTION MAY IN CERTAIN CASES TAKE ACCOUNT OF OTHER FACTORS, AND THE OPTION CHOSEN MAY THEREFORE DIFFER FROM THE ALARA OPTION.
THE INTENTION IS TO TRANSPORT THIS METHODOLOGICAL STRUCTURE TO NON-RADIOLOGICAL INDUSTRIAL RISKS.
The main objective of the project was to compare the methodologies for risk management applied to nuclear and nonnuclear activities, and to point out methodological convergences in the 2 fields. At the time the project started, the practicability and the efficiency of the as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA) approach had been recognised in the nuclear industry and it was logical to look at the potential for ALARA developments in the nonnuclear industry.
The nonnuclear case studies have been performed in 2 main areas. First, the management of carcinogenic risks in industry, where the nature of the risk (cancer induction), the environment (industrial facility) and the exposed population (public, workers) combined themselves in a management situation which is very close to the radiation protection one in nuclear installations. Second, the management of the decisions is a common practice. The transportation of hazardous material was a good example to confront the ALARA framework with probabilistic event situations and to use models developed at Centre d'etude sur l'Evaluation de la Protection dans le domaine Nucleaire (CEPN) to assess the risks associated with the transportation of radioactive materials.
The exploration of practices in nonnuclear industries has revealed that optimisation is obviously not currently used outside the nuclear industry. No practical applications have been observed in day to day protection, contrary to what can be observed in protection against noise.
In the transportation risk area, cost benefit is a rather familiar approach. In France the valuation of human life has been recommended in the early 1970s and then applied as a decision aiding indicator for road safety. However this approach has never been applied to major hazards such as those associated with hazardous material transportation.
Having recognised this major discrepancy between nuclear and nonnuclear activities, the project was basically focused on a comparison of i mplicit values of human life in various sectors including those resulting from previous works performed at CEPN on behalf of the Commission of European Communities (CEC). The results confirm a large similarity between nuclear and nonnuclear activities. Moreover many protection measures have been found to be cost saving.
The main results can be summarised as follows:
the ALARA approach can be applied in the nonnuclear field and it provides fruitful information;
the content of an ALARA study is however quite different outside the radiation protection domain (a large amount of work is to be devoted to the first steps of the procedure ie risk and system identification);
the risk management principles and practices are so different for carcinogenic substances that the meaningfullness of optimistion studies is not the same and comparisons such as cost effectiveness ratios are therefore difficult to interpret (the use of optimisation in installations is still a rather theoretical possibility in the general industry, however, first attempts in the case of deafness prevention, and to some extent, occupational accidents, have demonstrated possibilities of convergences);
the case of hazardous material transportation poses problem that are similar to radioactive and nonnuclear commodities (in this field, where the implementation of ALARA is not straightforward when dealing with low probabilities/high consequences events, it is however possible to apply the generic ALARA framework to structure the assessment and management processes).
Besides answering the original questions of the project, the research brought about interesting outputs to improve risk assessment and management procedures that have found some positive applications. Methodologies for analysing industrial systems and uses of a given product have been elaborated. Possible statistic or biological models in different risk management strategies have been explored for carcinogenic substances.
A. PLACING THE METHODOLOGIES IN PERSPECTIVE.
1) IDENTIFICATION AND ANALYSIS OF THE SYSTEM GENERATING THE RADIOLOGICAL OR NON-RADIOLOGICAL RISK.
2) PERFORMANCE OF THE PROTECTION OPTIONS IN TERMS OF REDUCING RADIOLOGICAL OR NON-RADIOLOGICAL RISKS.
B. CASE STUDIES.
AS WE HAVE SEEN IN CONNECTION WITH THE APPLICATION OF THE ALARA PRINCIPLE TO THE NUCLEAR FIELD, IT IS CASE STUDIES THAT ALLOW THE MOST CONCRETE DEMONSTRATION OF THE FEASIBILITY OF ALARA STUDIES. WE THEREFORE PROPOSE TO CARRY OUT ALARA-TYPE STUDIES ON THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES OF NON-RADIOLOGICAL INDUSTRIAL RISK :
1) AS REGARDS THE TRANSPORT OF DANGEROUS SUBSTANCES, THE PROPOSED CASE STUDIES CORRESPOND TO TWO DIFFERENT APPROACHES; THAT BASED ON THE GEOGRAPHICAL UNIT AND THE PRODUCT-BASED APPROACH.
THE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH THE TRANSPORT OF DANGEROUS SUBSTANCES IN THE LYON REGION WILL BE IDENTIFIED AND THE LEVEL OF RISK AND POSSIBLE OPTIONS EVALUATED ON THE BASIS OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT SUBSTANCES. IN ADDITION TO THE QUANTIFICATION ITSELF, THE CASE STUDY WILL BE AIMED AT DEVELOPING VARIOUS RISK INDICATORS AND REGIONAL CARTOGRAPHY. CONTACT WITH LOCAL-GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS WILL ALSO MAKE IT POSSIBLE TO DETERMINE THE FORM THAT SHOULD BE TAKEN BY DECISION-MAKING TOOLS IN ORDER TO ENABLE ALARA-TYPE ANALYSIS TO BE CONDUCTED IN THE REGION.
2) A CASE STUDY OF THE CHOICE OF OPTIONS FOR PROTECTING THE GENERAL PUBLIC AGAINST THE CARCINOGENIC RISK ASSOCIATED WITH THE DISCHARGE OF BENZENE FROM AN INDUSTRIAL PLANT.
THE AIM OF THIS STUDY IS TO DEMONSTRATE THAT ALARA STUDIES RELATING TO THE PROTECTION OF THE PUBLIC CAN BE TRANSPOSED TO AN AREA WHERE THERE IS AN INDUSTRIAL RISK OF CHEMICAL ORIGIN. THE ACTIVITY CHOSEN IS ONE WHICH, DURING NORMAL PLANT OPERATION, LEADS TO THE DISCHARGE INTO THE ENVIRONMENT OF A SUBSTANCE THAT CAN BE A LETHAL CARCINOGEN.
THE AIM OF THE STUDY WILL BE TO ASSESS, IN THE CONTEXT OF A SPECIFIC INDUSTRIAL ACTIVITY (FOR EX.OIL REFINING), THE HEALTH RISK FOR THE PUBLIC ASSOCIATED WITH BENZENE DISCHARGES INTO THE ENVIRONMENT, AND TO ANALYSE THE COSTS AND PERFORMANCE OF THE TREATMENT SYSTEMS THAT CAN BE ENVISAGED IN ORDER TO CARRY OUT A COST/BENEFIT STUDY.
3) A CASE STUDY OF THE CHOICE OF OPTIONS FOR PROTECTING WORKERS AGAINST THE RISK OF CANCER ASSOCIATED WITH EXPOSURE TO CARCINOGENS IN INDUSTRIAL PLANTS.
THE STUDY WILL INVOLVE ANALYSING THE PROTECTIVE MEASURE TAKEN IN AN INDUSTRIAL PLANT USING ACRYLONITRILE. IT WILL BE AN APOSTERIORI EVALUATION; THE INTENTION IS TO GAUGE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF PREVENTIVE MEASURES ALREADY ADOPTED. THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE LATTER WILL BE QUANTIFIED IN TERMS OF COLLECTIVE EXPOSURE AVOIDED (PERSONS X PPM X YEAR) AND IN TERMS OF POTENTIAL CANCERS AVERTED (WITH THE AID OF THE EXPOSURE-RESPONSE RELATIONSHIP DEVELOPED ELSEWHERE : SEE POINT A.2). THE ECONOMIC COST OF SUCH WORKER-PROTECTION OPTIONS WILL ALSO BE DETERMINED.