Reflecting on the current system of radiological protection

EGIR item

The recently published NEA report Initial Views on the Review and Revision of the System of Radiological Protection examines the International Commission for Radiological Protection’s (ICRP) proposed review of the system of radiological protection as documented in Publication 103 (ICRP, 2007) and its subsequent publications. Put together by the Expert Group on International Recommendations (EGIR) operating under the NEA’s Committee on Radiological Protection and Public Health (CRPPH), the report amounts to a snapshot of the collective views of NEA member countries. It concludes that the current system of radiological protection, as recommended by the ICRP, has contributed substantially to the provision of radiation safety and protection, and that the process of reviewing and revising the system should be seen as an effort to enhance it and adapt to changes in the prevailing circumstances rather than as a significant overhaul.  

The report also discusses the areas of the system of radiological protection that could benefit from ongoing improvement, including a review of the overarching system of radiological protection, optimisation, environmental protection, radiological detriment and risk, exposure situations and several cross-cutting issues, such as ethical considerations, communications and low-dose research.

The publication of this report marks the completion of phase one of the EGIR’s programme of work. In the next phase, the EGIR will work to target several key issues identified within the report that have been prioritised by CRPPH for an in-depth review. These include integration of environmental radiological protection with the system, optimisation of protection, and analysis of whether the system of radiological protection, including its primary aim, is resilient and robust enough to adapt to changes in technology, climate, emerging hazards and other potential challenges. The EGIR will present its findings at the next CRPPH meeting in March 2024, working in close collaboration with external stakeholders, including the ICRP’s Special Liaison Organisations (SLO).

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