The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) has embarked on a broad programme of consultation of how radiological protection should be managed at the start of the 21st century. The results of this consultation will be a new set of comprehensive ICRP recommendations. Whilst the ICRP has no formal power to impose its recommendations, legislation in most countries adheres closely to them. The NEA contributed to the ongoing discussion of the development of these new ICRP recommendations with a major conference on 28-29 July 2004 in Tokyo, Japan. The meeting featured presentations from the ICRP Chair, Professor Roger Clarke, Dr. Kimihiko Oda, Executive Director for Nuclear Safety at the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Dr. Shizuyo Kusumi, Commissioner, Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan and Dr. John Loy, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA). Over 150 participants from Japan, Korea, China and Australia took part in detailed discussions of the draft ICRP recommendations.
As a result, the ICRP representatives left with a clear view of stakeholder opinions of the proposed recommendations and agreed to modify them accordingly. Many conference participants said that they now had a much clearer understanding of the principles behind the proposed recommendations and agreed to continue discussing approaches to their application. Conference participants concluded that the broad lines of the ICRP recommendations could be largely accepted and that the focus of future discussions should be on how the recommendations should be efficiently and effectively applied.
Participants at the workshop also heard about the NEA's experience in the area of stakeholder involvement in decision-making processes, as based on the three Villigen workshops organised by the Agency on this subject. Discussions explored how such experience could be as successfully applied in Japan as it has been in Europe and North America. The meeting was co-organised by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
A Japanese sub-group of the CRPPH Expert Group on the Implications of ICRP Recommendations (EGIR) met on 30 July to provide detailed, line-by-line suggestions as to how the ICRP draft recommendations could be made more meaningful and clear. The EGIR is currently compiling a list of suggestions from all NEA standing technical committees on the draft recommendations, to which the Japanese EGIR sub-group's suggestions will be added. The full EGIR will meet to discuss the list in November. More information is available at www.oecd-nea.org/rp/egir.html.