Sunday, December 27, 2009

Radiation protection

Radiation protection

Exposure to ionizing radiation occurs in many occupations. Artificial sources of radiation are commonly used in the manufacturing and service industries, in areas of defense, in research institutions, and in universities, as well as in the nuclear power industry. Moreover, they are extensively used by physi­cians and health professionals.

Approaches to protection against ionizing radiation are remarkably consistent throughout the world. This is due largely to the existence of a well established and internationally recognized systems :

1- The United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) regularly reviews the natural and artificial sources of radiation in the environment to which people are exposed, the radiation exposure due to those sources, and the risks associated with that exposure. It reports its findings to the UN General Assembly on an ongoing basis.

2- The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) is a non-governmental scientific organization founded in 1928, which has regularly published recommenda­tions for protection against ionizing radiation. Its authority derives from the scientific standing of its members and the merit of its recommendations. It bases its estimates of the probability of fatal cancer mainly on studies of the Japanese survivors of the atomic bombs and their assessment by bodies such as UNSCEAR.

3- The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has a statutory function to establish safety standards, where appropriate in collaboration with other relevant international organizations. In doing this, it relies heavily on the work of UNSCEAR and ICRP. It also has a responsibility for providing for the application of those standards at the request of a State and it does this through various mechanisms, including the provision of services and training.

General principles

ICRP recommends system of radiological protection based on three central requirements. Each of these, involves social considerations - explicitly in the first two and implicitly in the third so there is considerable need for the use of judgment:

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