Changerooms, in one form or another, are associated with many practices involving the use of ionising radiation. As well as providing access to, and egress from, designated areas they also have a very important, and integral, role to play in preventing the spread of contamination. For this reason, it is important to ensure that the design, operation and maintenance of Changerooms reflects, so far as is reasonably practicable, agreed good practice.
Recently, both HSE/NII and the (Nuclear) Industry Radiological Protection Co-ordination Group (IRPCG), which is a working group set up by the Nuclear Industry’s Safety Directors Forum (SDF), reviewed the approach to Changerooms across the nuclear industry. Both reviews found that there were a variety of approaches to the design, operation and maintenance of changerooms (although some differences are, of course, justifiable). It is also the case that relevant standards, guidance and so on had been extant for some time, and hence would benefit from review.
As a direct result, the IRPCG set up a sub-group consisting of relevant experts from member organisations with the following objective:
"To develop an agreed good practice guide on changeroom design for use by the nuclear industry in the United Kingdom."
This Code of Practice is believed to be consistent with all relevant legislation and guidance, and has so far been endorsed by the following organisations:
- Atomic Weapons Establishment
- British Energy
- British Nuclear Group
- Devonport Management Ltd
- GE Healthcare Ltd
- United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority
Operational and maintenance issues, insofar as they are relevant to changeroom design, were also to be covered. The guide was to take account of the different situations and radionuclides present across the industry, and identify the differences in changeroom design and operation that may result from these differences.
This Code of Practice has been the subject of extensive review and consultation amongst relevant stakeholders. However, as with any such document, publication may lead to a call for further advice, or for other aspects to be considered. The IRPCG will itself in future keep this CoP under review, and strongly encourages users to comment, ask questions or make suggestions on the content of this document. IRPCG undertakes to respond to any such comment in an appropriate manner and will revise and re-issue it as necessary. Membership of the IRPCG is included in Annex D, and contact information is given on the inside front cover of this document.
Finally, the IRPCG take this opportunity to thank all of the members of the Changeroom Working Group for the time and effort that they have put into producing this document.