Radiological protection science addresses the radiobiological and epidemiological studies of the harmful effects of ionising radiation, as well as radiological exposure and dosimetry, and social sciences. This informs the development of radiological protection policy.
The system of radiological protection continuously evolves to integrate the last findings from research and the feedback from experience, to eventually address modern radiological protection of the public, patients, workers and environment.
The Committee on Radiological Protection and Public Health (CRPPH) interprets the science from UNSCEAR, the policy from ICRP, and the standards from IAEA to pragmatically develop paths forward and good practice when faced with new and emerging challenges. This work is mainly undertaken by the Expert Group on International Recommendations (EGIR) when draft documents of interest to the CRPPH become available for comment, typically draft ICRP recommendations, and draft updates of the IAEA Basic Safety Standards (BSS).
Additionally, the CRPPH is regularly organising workshops on radiological protection fundamentals and key issues dealing with the evolution of the radiological protection system (such as optimisation, reasonableness, stakeholder involvement).
A key radiological protection research area addresses the need to improve our understanding of radiological health risks that might be caused by exposure to low radiation doses, i.e. for doses below to far below ca. 100 millisieverts (mSv). The CRPPH has created a dedicated group to establish international networking to facilitate research coordination in the area of low dose research (HLG-LDR).
The CRPPH assists NEA member countries in the implementation and enhancement of the system of radiological protection. It contributes to the adoption and the maintenance of high standards of protection for the public, workers and the environment in all activities involving the use of ionising radiations, and particularly, but not limited to the field of nuclear energy.
The EGIR has performed a thorough analysis of the draft ICRP recommendations, providing general and detailed comments on the wording, with the objective of providing constructive criticism to the ICRP. Each comment or proposed wording change has been accompanied by a rationale for the change.