The NEA's Committee on Radiation Protection and Public Health (CRPPH) is a valuable resource for its member countries. The committee is made up of regulators and radiation protection experts, with the broad mission to provide timely identification of new and emerging issues, to analyse their possible implications and to recommend or take action to address these issues to further enhance radiation protection regulation and implementation. The regulatory and operational consensus developed by the CRPPH on these emerging issues supports policy and regulation development in Member countries, and disseminates good practice.
The most significant challenge currently facing the radiation protection community is how to better integrate radiation protection within modern concepts of and approaches to risk governance. In response to this issue, the internationally accepted principles of radiation protection, upon which virtually all national legislation is based, are in the process of being reviewed and updated. The CRPPH goal is to ensure that consensus on directions for improvement is reached among radiation protection experts from national regulatory authorities, and that this consensus is taken into account during the development of new approaches and international recommendations. This will be the main focus of the committee's work for the coming years. The CRPPH will also actively pursue collaborative efforts to address cross-cutting areas such as stakeholder involvement and environmental protection.
All components of the CRPPH Programme of Work (POW) will be oriented to along these lines. The Expert Group on the Evolution of the System of Radiation Protection (EGRP), the Expert Group on the Process of Stakeholder Involvement (EGPSI), and the Expert Group on Release Options (EGRO), will focus on developing various aspects of a "modern" system of radiation protection. The Forum on the Radiological Protection of the Environment will address this new area of importance. The Working Party on Nuclear Emergency Matters (WPNEM) will orient its strategy towards the longer term management of contaminated territories, for example the use of (or need for) intervention levels at various stages of cleanup and recovery. The Information System on Occupational Exposure (ISOE) will continue its work on the operational and analytical aspects of exposures at nuclear power plants, but will be invited to address the issue of "worker empowerment" in terms of modern views of optimisation of exposures.
Specifically, growing stakeholder involvement in decision-making processes addressing human health and environmental risks, as well as interpretation and application difficulties with the current system of radiation protection, have lead to a general review of the foundations of radiation protection. As part of this, the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) has undertaken the very broad task of updating its 1990 general recommendations (Publication 60) to better reflect modern societal needs. The CRPPH feels that much of the current system is well presented and is operationally workable. Several key areas of Publication 60, however, have been identified by the Committee as needing an alternative approach to better respond to the needs of regulators, practitioners and stakeholders. The objective of the CRPPH in this work is to develop consensus with regard to how these key areas of the ICRP general recommendations could be improved, and how stakeholder processes should be reflected in these recommendations. In developing this consensus, national examples of good practice in various areas will also be documented.
Work in all these areas is designed to assist CRPPH Members in addressing these issues within in their own national context. Results will be offered to the international community as the consensus of the regulators and experts of the CRPPH , with stakeholder input, for consideration and use in the development of a new, modern system of radiation protection.
The CRPPH works in close co-operation with the Radioactive Waste Management Committee (RWMC), the Committee on Nuclear Regulatory Activities (CNRA) and the Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI), the Nuclear Development Committee (NDC) and with other NEA Committees as appropriate.
Expert groups which have completed their mandates
Last reviewed: 22 February 2011