The NEA Committee on Radiological Protection and Public Health (CRPPH) held its annual meeting virtually on 29-31 March 2022. The meeting brought together around 100 delegates from 26 member countries, 11 international organisations and associations, and invitees from Chile, the People’s Republic of China and the United Arab Emirates. It was the 80th annual meeting, marking the committee’s long history of work in radiological protection and public health.
The meeting focused on the latest achievements, the refinement of the 2022 programme of work and the prioritisation of activities for 2023-2024. Participants also discussed the potential impact of the NEA’s new strategic plan for 2023-2028 on the committee’s ongoing and planned activities. The global changes in society discussed in the NEA strategic plan were grouped in three main areas, with actions linked to:
- the choice and implementation of solutions to adapt to global change, including climate change;
- the need for inclusiveness in decision-making to reflect experience, cultural diversity and country-specific features during all steps of a decision-making process;
- the need for risk-informed and engaged societies, based on better dissemination of information throughout society leading to an improvement in understanding and awareness of nuclear matters and more trust.
The committee will continue to evaluate the implications of these areas of global changes and the actions needed to address the issues outlined in the strategic plan.
During one of the topical sessions, the committee addressed for the first time radiological protection-related challenges associated with the deployment of small modular reactors (SMRs) ongoing in a number of NEA countries. In this context, member countries decided to set a task force to explore areas of added value for CRPPH-led work with regards to radiological protection and public health issues of SMRs.
During the topical session dedicated to the CRPPH’s contribution to the review and revision of the current System of Radiological Protection, organised by the Expert Group on International Recommendations (EGIR), participants discussed the next set of general recommendations published by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) and stressed the need to remain grounded in state-of-the-art science, to address identified challenges and to integrate experience from practice. The EGIR will continue to develop recommendations based on the feedback provided by the CRPPH and will publish its first report this year.
Meeting participants also discussed the progress of the third Stakeholder Involvement workshop on optimisation in decision-making. This event will focus on broadening stakeholder engagement, including with civil society, to work towards a holistic, inclusive and sustainable decision-making process rooted in an informed and engaged society. The workshop will take place in September 2023 and will be preceded by a series of webinars that will start at the end of 2022.
The CRPPH will gather for its next annual meeting on 4-6 April 2023 at the NEA headquarters in Boulogne-Billancourt (France).