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Ionising radiation

Environmental Radioactivity - Medicine - Occupational Radiation Protection - Nuclear Hazards Defence

Ionisierende Strahlung

Occupational radiation protection on an international level

In order to be effective and future-oriented, occupational radiation protection has also to engage beyond national borders. Therefore, the Federal Office for Radiation Protection’s (BfS) Radiation Protection Register participates in the further development of occupational radiation protection on an international level.

A key issue here is the harmonization of occupational radiation protection monitoring in Europe. The basic standards for radiation protection of the European Commission apply to all European Member States. As more and more workers who are occupationally exposed to ionizing radiation change their workplaces within Europe, occupational radiation protection must also be ensured transnationally.

Therefore, the Radiation Protection Register participates in working groups and projects for the European Union. With its experience and background, it supports the international radiation protection organizations - for example, the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) - in optimizing the global surveys on occupational radiation exposure. Also, within the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), it has chaired over many years an expert group which deals with the impact of the International Commission on Radiological Protection’s (ICRP) new recommendations and future issues of occupational radiation protection.

Participation in international committees and projects

Heads of the European Radiological Protection Competent Authorities, Working Group 1 (HERCA/WG 1)

The HERCA Working Group 1 developed a harmonized European Radiation Passbook and a guidance document for workers travelling to different European countries where they work as so-called outside workers in radiation controlled areas. The European Radiation Passbook provides all relevant information (concerning for example the workers’ previous radiation exposure, professional training, aptitude etc.) in multiple languages and in a harmonized format, terminology and data structure. It is a template and recommended to be used in the EU Member States. The passbook can either be paper-based or used in an electronic format within a national data system. HERCA/WG1 has also launched a pilot project with the perspective to develop a radiation passbook information system for electronic data exchange between EU Member States.

European Study on Occupational Radiation Exposure (ESOREX)

In 1997, the Federal Office for Radiation Protection initiated the "European Study on Occupational Radiation Exposure" (ESOREX) project for the European Commission. Numerous survey studies included up to 30 European countries, with the objective of

  • surveying how individual occupational radiation monitoring is organized in these countries,
  • collecting reliable and comparable data on the annual radiation exposure in the various work sectors and occupational categories over a period of ten years,
  • establishing a platform for contacts and exchange of information between national dose registries in Europe and international organizations.

The surveys show the development of occupational radiation exposure before and after the implementation of the European Council Directive 96/29 EURATOM into national law. They also provided important insights for the harmonization of occupational radiation protection monitoring in Europe. Several European workshops were conducted with the heads of the respective national dose registers. These workshops contributed to the establishment of a European occupational radiation protection monitoring network.

The projects were carried out by the Radiation Protection Register of the BfS in close co-operation with the State Office for Nuclear Safety of the Czech Republic and under alternating lead management. Through ESOREX, the Radiation Protection Register has essential information and contacts relating to occupational radiation monitoring in 30 European countries.

The most recent ESOREX project was carried out by the French Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire (IRSN) with the participation of the BfS and established the ESOREX Platform, a network and data system with statistics and information on occupational radiation protection in Europe, launched in 2015.

Expert Group on Occupational Exposure (EGOE)

The Committee on Radiation Protection and Public Health (CRPPH) of the OECD founded the Expert Group on Occupational Exposure (EGOE) in 2006. The objective of the EGOE was to deal with the impacts of the ICRP’s new recommendations and develop answers to future issues in occupational radiation protection. The work of EGOE comprised a number of case studies and was closely connected to the International Action Plan of the IAEA and the development of the new IAEA Basic Safety Standards. EGOE consisted of experts from about 30 OECD countries, observers from international organizations (IAEA, ILO, ISOE, and EC) and consultants. Until 2014, the EGOE was chaired by the BfS Radiation Protection Register.

UNSCEAR Streamlining Data Collection

The United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) collects and analyzes data about doses and trends concerning radiation exposure of the public, workers and patients on a global level. Within the framework of ESOREX, the Radiation Protection Register supports UNSCEAR in harmonizing and improving the data surveys in the occupational sector in order to increase the reliability of international dose statistics.

IAEA Technical Meeting Projects and International Action Plan

The Radiation Protection Register contributes to Technical Meeting Projects (for example on the management of radiation protection for external staff and the development and implementation of national dose registries) and to the IAEA International Action Plan on Occupational Radiation Exposure (e.g. aircraft crew monitoring because of cosmic radiation).

State of 2016.07.25

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