First Workshop on Science and Values in Radiological Protection

Key scientific challenges arising from ongoing radiobiological research have been identified recently. From this scientific base, the possible implications for radiological protection science are expected to be further elaborated. Through discussions among members of various NEA committees, it is clear that there is a need for radiological protection policy makers, regulators and practitioners to better understand possible developments coming from radiological protection science. At the same time, there is also a need for radiological protection scientists to better understand the broad processes of radiological protection decision making and to better interact with these processes in terms of furnishing input coming from their research. Participants in this workshop will attempt to identify elements of a framework that are better suited for the integration of new scientific and technological developments and socio-political considerations into radiological protection.

This workshop initiated a process of reflection and dialogue among researchers, policy makers and other stakeholders that will, in the longer term:

  • improve understanding in both the research and policy communities of what is at stake in the system of radiological protection as scientific knowledge and social values evolve;
  • contribute to the development of a more shared view of emerging scientific and societal challenges to radiological protection, taking into account existing differences;
  • identify research that will better inform decision makers' judgments on emerging issues;
  • be the first step in the identification of elements of a framework that is better suited for the integration of new scientific and technological developments and socio-political considerations into radiological protection; and
  • identify the most appropriate next steps in this process.

To achieve the above objectives, selected examples of emerging radiological protection issues were addressed during the workshop.

Following the workshop, a summary paper highlighting the key points will be prepared.


The workshop was structured around a number of invited plenary presentations addressing selected emerging challenges for radiological protection. These presentations were followed by facilitated breakout sessions, during which participants examined these emerging challenges in greater detail. Discussions in particular focused on their potential implications from the perspectives of science, values and interpretation. Pre-determined participation in each breakout session balanced the spectrum of stakeholders participating in the workshop.

Some of the key scientific issues identified in the recent NEA Expert Group on the Implications of Radiological Protection Science (EGIS) report were used as examples in the workshop, namely:

  • non-targeted effects;
  • individual sensitivity; and
  • circulatory diseases.

Each topic was addressed initially in plenary and subsequently in the parallel breakout sessions which were moderated by designated experts. The moderated discussions followed a "what if" approach during which the nature and significance of the potential implications of the various emerging issues or challenges will be determined. Where appropriate, the need for further research and/or analysis was identified in order to better understand the challenge and how/if it is accommodated.

The outcomes of the breakout sessions were presented in plenary by the respective moderators followed by an open discussion. These discussions informed the conclusions of the workshop.


15 January 2008

Welcome and forum opening

9:00-9:10 Welcome address from the host organisation (STUK)
Jukka Laaksonen

9:10-9:20 Welcome address from the NEA
Takanori Tanaka


9:20-9:40 Science and Values in Radiological Protection: Historical Perspective and Present Challenges
Jacques Lochard

9:40-10:00 How is STUK responding to emerging challenges?
Sisko Salomaa

10:00-10:30 Break 

Session 1: Views of Stakeholders on Emerging Scientific and Societal issues in Radiological Protection

Chair: Mary Helen Barcellos-Hoff, Plenary session.

10:30-10:50 Views of Researchers: Otsura Niwa

10:50-11:10 Views of Regulators: Dana Drabova

11:10-11:30 Views of NGOs: Yves Marignac

11:30:11:50 Views of Industry: Bernard Le Guen

11:50-12:30 Moderated discussion on presented views

12:30-14:00 Lunch

Session 2: Case Studies - Presentations on Potential Implications Arising from What-if Scenarios

Chair: Sigurdur Magnusson, Plenary session.

14:00-14:45 Non-targeted effects and the DNA paradigm
William F. Morgan

  • Scientific Understanding and Uncertainties
  • What if?

14:45-15:30 Circulatory Diseases
Dale Preston

  • Scientific Understanding and Uncertainties
  • What if?

15:30-16:00 Break

16:00-16:45 Individual Sensitivity
Michael Atkinson

  • Scientific Understanding and Uncertainties
  • What if?

16:45-17:30 Value issues, Precautionary Principle, Equity and Radiological Protection
Presenter: Sven Ove Hansson (Full paper available at

  • Scientific Understanding and Uncertainties
  • What if?

18:00 ~ Reception

16 January 2008

Session 3: Understanding the Potential Implications for Radiological Protection

Parallel Breakout Groups

  • Breakout Session One: Non-targeted Effects

    Moderators: Mary Helen Barcellos-Hoff, William F. Morgan, Otsura Niwa, Sisko Salomaa.

  • Breakout session Two: Individual Sensitivity

    Moderators: Michael Atkinson, Yves Marignac, Kazuo Sakai, Wolfgang Weiss.

  • Breakout session Three: Circulatory Diseases

    Moderators: Guido Hildebrandt, Fred Mettler, Dale Preston, Annie Sugier.

All breakout sessions will run on the following schedule:

  • 9:00-10:30 Moderated discussion
  • 10:30-11:00 Break
  • 11:00-12:30 Continued moderated discussion
  • 12:30-14:00 Lunch
  • 14:00-16:00 Final moderated discussion, summary of issues
  • 16:00-17:00 Chairs' meeting/preparation of summaries

Objectives of breakout sessions:

  • Identify key risk and equity aspects, and discuss how the precautionary principle would be applied taking into account various value-judgments;
  • Identify driving models, parameters and values structuring the radiological protection system of relevance for the issue at stake;
  • Identify keys of what-if aspects, their significance and likelihood;
  • What judgements have lead to different views of different stakeholders (e.g. different scientific views, different regulatory views, different NGO views, etc.);
  • What would be the implications for: regulatory work? research? industry?
  • If these assumed challenges prove to be correct, how could the existing system adjust to this new situation?
  • What process would be necessary to adopt in order to arrive at this adjustments?

17 January 2008

Session 4: Reports from Breakout Groups

Chair: Michel Bourguignon 

9:00-9:30 Summary Report from Breakout Session One

9:30-10:00 Discussion

10:00-10:30 Summary Report from Breakout Session Two

10:30-11:00 Discussion

11:00-11:30 Break

11:30-12:00 Summary Report from Breakout Session Three

12:00-12:30 Discussion

Session 5: The way forward

Chair: Jacques Lochard

12:30-12:50 Future steps in the process? Ted Lazo, NEA

12:50-13:00 Discussion


Organised in collaboration with the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority of Finland (STUK)