The month of October was a very active one in the area of radiation protection. In the context of the annual meeting of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), the NEA, as an observer in the Committee on the Application of the ICRP's Recommendations, contributed to discussions of the evolution of radiation protection systems. These discussions will lead to the publication of a new set of ICRP recommendations by about 2005. The recently published Critical Review of the System of Radiation Protection was well received by the Commission as an important contribution to its work. The NEA Committee on Radiation Protection and Public Health (CRPPH) will focus its work in this area on assuring regulatory applicability and coherence.
The Bureau of the CRPPH also met during the month of October to take stock of the progress made so far with the programme of work defined at the Committee's April 2000 meeting. In addition to providing guidance to the Secretariat on various issues related to the programme of work, the Bureau agreed to send two survey questionnaires to Committee Members. These surveys will address how national regulatory authorities approach the issue of releasing sites, facilities and materials from regulatory control (in decommissioning for example), and how national regulatory authorities prioritise the issues that they face.
The Liaison Committee (LC) on Decommissioning held its annual meeting in October. The Co-operative Programme on Decommissioning, which is administered by the LC, is in the process of restructuring to improve co-ordination and efficiency. It agreed, inter alia, to extend the Programme for another year in order to complete the restructuring process. Based on the results of this restructuring, the programme will begin, in 2001, its fourth 5-year mandate. Another notable decision by the LC was its commitment to participate actively in the NEA's Agency-wide project on decommissioning issues. The LC, which is the source of operational decommissioning expertise at the NEA, will develop position papers to express the operator's practical and implementational views on how decommissioning policy can be developed to facilitate safe decommissioning.