International Conference on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources: Towards a Global System
23 June 2005 | A five day international conference that seeks to advance the goal of achieving cradle to grave control of radioactive sources will be held in Bordeaux, 27 June - 1 July, 2005.
All sessions will be open to accredited journalists.
The IAEA organized, Government of France hosted, conference will also assess progress that has been made in maintaining proper control of radioactive sources, used extensively for a whole range of beneficial purposes, in medicine, industry and agriculture worldwide. During the 1990s, there was increasing concern over accidents, sometimes with very serious consequences, that such sources caused. Following the terrorist attacks of 11 September, 2001 in the USA there has been heightened concern about their possible malevolent use.
The possible consequences of an accident or a malevolent act involving a radioactive source are similar - high radiation doses, generally to a few people sometimes resulting in death, and contamination of the environment, creating public anxiety and necessitating expensive clean-up. However, such radioactive sources cannot be used as weapons of mass destruction; only fissile materials, sometimes referred to as nuclear materials, can produce a nuclear weapon. Such nuclear materials, although radioactive, are not used in radioactive sources.
The IAEA has been actively promoting safety standards for radioactive sources for 45 years. A major step was taken in 1996, when it issued the International Basic Safety Standards for Protection Against Ionizing Radiation and for the Safety of Radiation Sources (the BSS). These standards also include requirements relating to the security of radioactive sources. The IAEA has been providing considerable effort, resources and expertise, to assist its Member States in implementing these standards. In recent years, the IAEA has also assisted many countries in recovering or strengthening control over radioactive sources.
Please register on-line.