The NEA Committee on Radiological Protection and Public Health (CRPPH) held its annual meeting via videoconference on 21-23 April 2021. The meeting brought together 107 delegates from 29 member countries and invitees from the People’s Republic of China, as well as representatives from eight international organisations, including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the World Health Organisation (WHO). This was the first plenary meeting with the new CRPPH Chair, Thierry Schneider of the Nuclear Protection Evaluation Centre (CEPN).
The meeting focused on the committee’s achievements since September 2020 and the refinement of its programme of work for the 2021-2022 biennium. In addition to reviewing new activity proposals and reports from various CRPPH working groups, participants also discussed the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) plans to review the radiological protection system over the coming decade. Accordingly, the committee agreed for the Expert Group on International Recommendations (EGIR) to reflect on the current radiological protection system and the necessary evolution.
The meeting included two topical sessions focusing on reports being prepared by expert groups working under the umbrella of the CRPPH: the NEA Expert Group on the Dose Limit for the Lens of the Eye (EGDLE) report on the practical experiences worldwide in implementing the ICRP’s recommended equivalent dose limit for the lens of the eye for occupational exposure and the forthcoming NEA Expert Group on Recovery Management (EGRM) report on developing a post‑accident recovery management framework adapted to national conditions. Drawing from the key findings of the EGRM report, the committee expressed interest in organising a global workshop in 2022 on preparedness for post-accident recovery.
There was another topical session dedicated to the expectations of the third NEA Workshop on Stakeholder Involvement, which will be organised by the CRPPH in mid-2022 to focus on radiological policy optimisation, in close co-operation with other NEA standing technical committees and international bodies, such as the ICRP and the International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA). Discussions confirmed the need for guidance on the definition and coherent application of optimisation. The findings of the session will be complemented by a survey among the CRPPH and other NEA standing technical committees and a programme committee will be established to take the workshop programme forward.
Among the key highlights of the meeting was the fourth topical session on the recently-published NEA report Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident, Ten Years On: Progress, Lessons and Challenges, which reviews the effects of the accident and reflects on future perspectives. The committee expressed its gratitude to delegates from Japan who shared their experiences and elaborated on regulatory changes based on lessons learnt from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident. The committee also agreed on the importance of leveraging the successful international collaborations forged in the aftermath of the accident to continue modernising radiological protection.