Saturday, 15 September 2012
A look back at radiation protection in the MOD's nuclear programmes
In 1990 the 12th report of the House of Commons Defence Committee was published. Looking at the report today provides a very interesting view of radiation protection and doses to both civilians and service personnel working in the Defence Nuclear programmes in the late 1980s.
Link to the report.
The report provides an insight into how the MOD was responding to the Gardner report and also touches on the need to counsel radiation workers about their exposures to radiation. The report also discusses the no fault compensation scheme .
COMARE advice on the Gardner report
The report mentions the Graduate Entry Training scheme for Health Physicists (GETS). The GET scheme became a victim of the fragmentation of the defence nuclear sector, especially when AWE no longer participated. It was from this point on that the active career management of MOD Health Physicists took a steep downhill turn. This also reflects the demise of the scientific civil service with the move away from engineering and science grades to a broad banded grade structure, which includes a science and engineering skills framework.
Recruiting and retaining specialist staff
when asked "have there been difficulties in recruiting and retaining specialist staff" Surgeon Captain Harrison replied "I think there always has been, but the Ministry has responded to this by starting up a graduate entry training scheme for health physicists which has been running now some four to five years and this is brining really good first class graduates into the service".
Over 20 years after the publication of the 12th report of the House of Commons Defence Committee ; the retention of specialist staff including health physicists remains to this day a significant issue and risk to the safety of MOD's nuclear programme, with little indication of progress in finding a solution.
MOD page on compensation scheme
Radiation Compensation Scheme