Press release
Paris, 22 February 2002


Protecting the environment from harmful effects of radiation: Towards a new international policy

At an international forum held on 12-14 February 2002 in Sicily, Italy, the NEA together with the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), initiated an international process for the development of a new, broad-ranging policy on radiological protection of the environment.

The forum, the first of a series of three, was a significant step in building consensus on major issues requiring attention in defining a new radiological protection policy for the environment. These included defining an international rationale for this purpose; assessing the availability of scientific information to develop a broadly accepted policy; and evaluating the socio-political dynamics which can help ensure its acceptance.

Hosted by the Italian Agency for the Protection of the Environment (ANPA), this forum brought together some 80 participants from 22 countries, including national regulatory executives, experts from intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations, politicians, scientists, sociologists and industry representatives. The forum was also attended by representatives of the major international organisations concerned: the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the European Commission (EC), the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) and the Secretariat of the OSPAR Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic.

Building on the open, international dialogue now established among stakeholders in this field, the second and third fora (scheduled to take place in 2003 and 2005 respectively) will focus on the implications of the recommendations to be developed by the ICRP on radiological protection of the environment, as well as the practical considerations associated with their implementation in NEA member countries.

Related link

Radioactive waste management and decommissioning

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