Following the 2008 (Finland), 2009 (France) and 2012 (Japan) Science and Values in Radiological Protection workshops, which contributed to the integration of new scientific and technological developments and socio-political considerations of radiological protection, were organised around parallel breakout session discussions. The June 2015 workshop was held in plenary to include ample time for discussion. It focused more on the values related to radiological protection decision making than on the scientific aspects.
Alongside innovative scientific and academic phenomena, issues like consent, equity, control and responsibility are also very important for defining and imposing appropriate radiological protection measures and criteria. Following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident experience, the dimensions of science and values were addressed by Russian and international delegates through the following three key topics:
The values aspects of medical surveillance programmes for occupational workers, and in post-accident situations, are seen as important topics being considered by many governments and industries. The presentations and discussions could address such aspects as: the justification and optimisation of medical surveillance programmes; the rational considered when taking such decisions; considerations taken into account regarding decisions on the longevity of such surveillance programmes.
There is currently much discourse on the uses of effective dose, both by technical experts and when discussing risks with populations in post-accident situations. Discussion on this topic could include such aspects as: the nature of effective dose as a tool for RP experts versus a tool for dialogue with stakeholders; the values aspects of expressing risks; the uses of effective dose as a regulatory tool; the use of collective dose; and the use of and uncertainty in individualised dose considerations.
The use of the concept of “safety” is currently being discussed in the context of radiological protection criteria, and of managing public exposure. This is tied to the meaning of safety, and to decisions in relation to ending post-accident protective actions. The values aspects of these issues could be usefully explored, addressing such topics as: the interpretation of technical criteria; use of technical criteria in stakeholder discussions; and processes and approaches to reaching stakeholder agreement on when enough has been done.
The First Workshop on Science and Values in Radiological Protection (hosted by STUK, Finland, 2008) brought stakeholders together to ask "what if?" – If science develops along postulated lines, then what, if anything, should change in terms of radiological protection? The key topics examined were: non-targeted effects; individual sensitivity and radiation-induced circulatory diseases.Dialogue among the attending regulators, scientists and NGOs improved mutual understanding of the choices underlying radiological protection, and began to shape a process and framework for the better integration of its social and scientific dimensions.
The Second Workshop on Science and Values in Radiological Protection (hosted by IRSN, MEEDDAT and CEPN, France, 2009) engaged stakeholders in considering "what now?" – that is, examining new data and observations that stimulate us to ask whether current public health and regulatory approaches are still adequate, or whether they may need revision. The key topics examined were: domestic exposure to radon and growing medical exposures in diagnostic and screening procedures and radiation-induced vascular effects. Participants reviewed stakeholder experience, rationale and justification for adopting new approaches, practical actions, research needs, and process and framework elements that could enhance radiological protection by better integration of scientific and social aspects.
The Third Workshop on Science and Values in Radiological Protection and the Sixth Asian Regional Conference (hosted by the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), and the National Institute of Radiological Sciences (NIRS), Japan, 2012) followed up by asking “where do we go from here?” Three topics were addressed: assessment and management of low-dose exposures and public health; protection of children and self-help behaviour approaches and non-cancer effects. Participants addressed the value aspects of these three topics in great depth, to assist radiological protection to move forward in an accepted and sustainable direction.
The objectives of the workshop were to better understand how the science and values aspects of the three topics (medical surveillance, uses of effective dose and addressing safety concerns) might influence the evolution of the system of radiological protection, and how these aspects should be included and transparently articulated in radiological protection decision making.
The workshop was made up of invited papers and discussions, focusing on the three topics (medical surveillance, uses of effective dose and addressing safety concerns), through plenary presentations of aspects related to science, and mostly, values. Young professionals and Russian experts featured prominently.
Co-organised by State Atomic Energy Corporation "Rosatom"
Federal Medical Biological Agency (FMBA) / Burnasyan Federal Medical Biophysical Centre (FMBC) (RF)
The workshop was conducted in English and Russian. Simultaneous translation was provided for the participants.
The workshop was held at the following address:
State Research Center – Burnasyan Federal Medical Biophysical Center of Federal Medical Biological Agency (SRC-FMBC)
46 Zhivopisnaya Street, 123182, Moscow, Russia.
Subway station: Shchukinskaya.