Approaches to radiological protection have been evolving, particularly over the past several years. This has been driven by the emergence of modern concepts of and approaches to risk governance, and by calls from within the radiological protection community for the simplification and clarification of the existing system of protection, as based on the recommendations of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP).
The NEA Committee on Radiation Protection and Public Health (CRPPH) has been very active in developing its own suggestions as to how the system of radiological protection should evolve to better meet the needs of policy makers, regulators and practitioners. One of those suggestions is that a generic concept of "regulatory authorisation" of certain levels and types of exposure to radiation should replace the current and somewhat complicated concepts of exclusion, exemption and clearance. It has also been suggested that by characterising emerging sources and exposures in a screening process leading into the authorisation process, regulatory authorities could develop a better feeling for the type and scale of stakeholder involvement that would be necessary to reach a widely accepted approach to radiological protection.
In order to verify that these suggestions would make the system of radiological protection more understandable, easy to apply, and acceptable, independent consultants have "road tested" the CRPPH concepts of authorisation and characterisation. Their findings, which show that applying these concepts would represent significant improvement, are reproduced herein. Specific approaches for the application of the new CRPPH ideas are also illustrated in this report.