Radiological protection is a term applied to the protection of workers, patients, the public and the environment from the harmful effects of exposure to ionising radiation, and the means for achieving this.
The CRPPH assists NEA member countries in the implementation and enhancement of the system of radiological protection. It contributes to the adoption and the maintenance of high standards of protection for the public, workers and the environment in all activities involving the use of ionising radiations, and particularly, but not limited to the field of nuclear energy.
New nuclear power plants ("Generation III+") are likely to be evolutions of current designs ("Generation II"). It is therefore expected that much may be learnt about the performance of new plants by studying current ones. In this context, an NEA scoping group studied the issues around best available techniques (BAT) for the abatement of radiological discharges from new nuclear power plant designs.
The NEA Expert Group on Implementation of New International Recommendations for Emergency Exposure Situations (EGIRES) met for the first time in January 2011 with the participation of six NEA member country experts (Finland, France, Spain, Switzerland, Japan and the USA) and four observers from international organisations (IAEA, ICRP and EC) and the European Platform on Preparedness for Nuclear and Radiological Emergency Response and Recovery (NERIS).
In 2002, the NEA CRPPH established a dedicated expert group (EGIR) to evaluate draft general recommendations developed by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) and to provide feedback on policy and implementation to the authors of the document, in order to ensure that the final recommendations reflect the views and concerns of the CRPPH.
Many NEA member countries are facing problems with radiologically contaminated legacy sites and installations. There are many examples of how different legacy issues are managed in various countries, applying different approaches and standards. To address the need for more practical guidance on regulation of radiation protection at legacy sites the Expert Group on Legacy Management (EGLM) was formed in 2016. The main objective of the EGLM is to promote a practical and optimised approach for the regulatory supervision of nuclear legacy sites and installations, taking into account the results of other NEA activities such as the Expert Group on Fukushima Waste Management and Decommissioning R&D (EGFWMD), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Safety Fundamentals, the International Basic Safety Standards and the relevant IAEA guidance documents, the relevant existing and the new International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) recommendations, as well as the experience of good practice at different types of legacy sites.
The Expert Group on Occupational Exposure (EGOE) will build on operational and regulatory experience in NEA member countries, focusing on the use of existing databases to identify where and how operational experience can support the review and development of occupational radiological protection guidance and good practice.
The EGRPF will be responsible for managing the work of the CRPPH and its sub-groups as it relates to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident. While this does not necessarily mean that the group will be responsible for performing the work itself, it does mean that all relevant work will be co-ordinated by the EGRPF.
The Expert Group on Radiological Protection Science at the Service of Stakeholders (EGSS) used the case studies already elaborated through the NEA Villigen stakeholder workshops to examine how, when science has been focused through the lens of particular stakeholder concerns, this has resulted in collaborative paths forward.
The NEA has established the expert group on stakeholder involvement and organisational structures (EGSIOS) to examine the organisational structures of radiological protection institutes with respect to stakeholder involvement. The group will focus on examining how resources are deployed, the level of senior management commitment to stakeholder involvement and training needs. This will be supported by Secretariat-led work to survey existing resources on stakeholder involvement and to address the support needs required for consolidating stakeholder involvement. Based on the results from these activities, the expert group will draft proposals for a series of workshops on stakeholder involvement. The work from the scoping group will be prepared for publication and the expert group's work may be included in this report.
The ICRP will issue new recommendations in 2006. In this context the CRPPH has decided to identify topics and areas that in the mid- to long-term future will (or could) have significant influence on radiological protection policy, regulation and application. To this end the Expert Group on the CRPPH Collective Opinion (EGCO) sought to build on the issues raised during the topical session held during the meeting of the CRPPH in March 2004. These discussions took in radiological protection, science, policy, regulation and implementation. In addition, in collaboration with the EGIR, the expert group assessed any possible impacts that new ICRP recommendations could have on these areas.The EGCO finished its report in 2007, thereby completing its mandate.
The CRPPH agreed that EGIS should survey currently ongoing projects in radiological protection science, and discuss the possible implications that their results could provoke. This should focus on projects expected to yield results in the short-term, the coming three to ten years. Based on this survey, the group should attempt to identify scientific questions that need to be answered in order to support the making or evolution of policy decisions. This should focus on longer-term projects, more in the ten to thirty year time frame. The 1998 publication Developments in Radiation Health Science and their Impact on Radiation Protection was used as a starting point. In finalising its final report in 2007, the EGIS completed its mandate and disbanded.
The NEA Expert Group on the Public Health Perspective in Radiological Protection (EGPH) was created to explore this field. At its first meeting expert group members identified a range of areas that could be explored and decided to organise a workshop on radiological protection from a public health objective in 2009.
The ISOE was launched in 1992 by the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) to improve the management of occupational exposures at nuclear power plants through the collection and analysis of occupational exposure data and trends, and through the exchange of lessons learnt among utility and national regulatory authority experts. Since 1993, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has co-sponsored the ISOE programme, thus allowing the participation of utilities and authorities from non-NEA member countries.
The CRPPH has long served as a forum for exchange and co-operation, to establish best practices, contribute to the development of the key recommendations of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) and issue innumerable technical and policy documents that capture the state of the art of radiological protection (RP) thinking at specific points in time. The NEA decided to develop a learning programme in order to pass on a deep understanding of the spirit of the RP system, along with how it is intended to be applied in diverse and newly emerging circumstances, and how it is evolving on the basis of lessons from experiences. The International Radiological Protection School (IRPS) has been implemented since 2018 through a co-operation between the NEA, the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) and the Centre for Radiation Protection Research (CRPR) of Stockholm University.
The ISOE Bureau welcomed the proposal and also decided that close collaboration with the CRPPH Working Party on Nuclear Emergency Management (WPNEM) is necessary for this work. It is also indicated that the WGDA may take a leading role in assigning the experts and also work of the group with the active participation of the ISOE Technical Centers. It was noted that this activity would benefit from broad ISOE participation to ensure that the final product would be cohesive and valuable, and it was requested that a call for nominations be sent by the Secretariat to the full Management Board. Following this direction, a call for nominations to the newly established ad-hoc Expert Group on Occupational Radiation Protection in Severe Accident Management and Post-accident Recovery (EGSAM) was sent to the ISOE membership in December 2011.
It was expected from utilities representatives participating to the EGWC to provide a description of the way they managed their source term so as to prevent (limit) contamination of the primary coolant (pH, Zn injection, steam generator materials, radio-chemical spec. for operation, etc.) and the driving factors that lead to their current approach (cost, radiation protection, safety, etc.). These elements were debated and discussed within the expert group.
Decommissioning of nuclear power plants is a subject of growing importance for NEA member countries and will represent significant budgets and industrial activities in the future. Through various joint projects of the NEA, much experience has been gained in the technical aspects of decommissioning and dismantling, including providing for the safety of workers, the public and the environment. However, a number of challenges and uncertainties remain, particularly in field of occupational radiation protection (ORP) during the decommissioning of nuclear power plants. A joint ISOE / CPD topical session on decommissioning was organized on 5 November 2014 to discuss a proposal to establish of a new joint working group with the primary objective to discuss trends and areas that need to be studied further.
The mission of the CRPPH Working Party on Nuclear Emergency Matters (WPNEM) is to improve nuclear emergency management systems within member countries, and to share its knowledge and experience widely. Within this framework, WPNEM activities focus on identified needs in planning, preparedness and response for the "early" and "intermediate" phases of a nuclear/radiological emergency (including accidents and consequence management for malicious acts), with a view to prepare appropriate recovery actions. The programme of work is developed in co-ordination with member countries and other international organisations.
The goal of the NEA in this area is to assist member countries in the regulation, implementation and further development of the system of radiological protection by identifying and addressing conceptual, scientific, policy, regulatory, operational and societal issues, and clarifying their implications.
The NEA's work on radiological protection is through the Committee on Radiological Protection and Public Health (CRPPH), in existence since 1957. Its members are made up of senior radiological protection scientists and engineers from national radiological protection authorities and their technical service organisations.
The CRPPH is a forum for the exchange of state-of-the-art knowledge and experience, for the identification of emerging issues and resolution approaches, and for contributing to the evolution of the international system of radiological protection.