Cave Radon Monitors – Autumn 2021 Programme

As many of you will be aware (since many of you contributed to the Spring 2021 programme!), SWOAPG has been supporting the community of professional cave users by assisting with the provision of radon monitors in caves across South Wales. The ‘final’ round of monitoring now needs to be undertaken to complete the seasonal coverage, so we are once again asking Providers to contribute to the provision of one or more monitors at £25 each. Richard Hill is again coordinating this programme on behalf of Providers and he has set out the full details (including payment) below: please contact him direct by Fri 17 Sep to pledge your support:

Thanks in advance for your help with this important collective programme which will help all professional cave users to maintain compliance with the ionising radiation legislation.

“Dear Provider,

“As I am sure you are aware there were some new ionisation radiation regulations (IRR17) that came into effect in 2018. These are HSE legislation and all providers that operate in caves/mines need to conform to them. The first stage of this is to produce a Radon risk assessment and establish the radon levels in the caves.

“To do so the caves have to be sampled for Radon concentrations seasonally. In Summer 2019 and Winter 2020 the MoD at Sennybridge helped us massively in South Wales by providing over 40 dosimeters that were placed in all the venues used in our region. In Autumn 2019 the BCA/AHOEC funded 14 dosimeters and these were placed strategically to get the best/most useful information that we could. In Spring 2021 SWOAPG members funded over 40 dosimeters. We now need to place 31 more monitors to complete the seasonal sampling.

“Throughout the UK the British Caving Association and AHOEC have paid for the majority of the dosimeters for Northern England, Mendips, North Wales and Southern England to the tune of £4300 and £1000 respectively.

“SWOAPG is asking whether you can contribute to the Autumn 2021 set of sampling. The cost of a single dosimeter is approximately £25. These are purchased from Public Health England and then volunteers place and collect the dosimeter and return them to PHE who analyse them and return the data. This should be the last major set of sampling for several years as we have data from all 4 seasons but the previous autumn sampling was not a full set due to lack of funding. We need to have the dosimeters in place by mid-October and it takes two weeks to order from PHE.

“Under IRR17 all providers need to employ a Radiation Protection Adviser and prove that they have the data to comply to the regulations. The BCA have managed to work with HSE so that BCA employed a RPA (£1500) so that each organisation doesn’t have to. By working together, we are reducing the costs of the sampling.

“Under IRR17 HSE can enforce these regulations and if an organisation is not complying, they are undergoing a “material breach” and can be fined and investigated. HSE/AALS/ARMS will be checking this as part of ongoing inspections.

“As with the previous set of sampling earlier this year I can provide invoices and receipts as necessary.
Please make donations to Richard Hill, Lloyds bank, 30-91-16, account 00781713, Ref SWOAPG radon.

“Thanks, Rich Hill”

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