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International Conference on Radiation Safety: Improving Radiation Protection in Practice

9–13 November 2020, Vienna, Austria

International Conference on Radiation Safety 2020

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is organizing the International Conference on Radiation Safety: Improving Radiation Protection in Practice  at its headquarters in Vienna, Austria, from 9 to 13 November 2020.

The Conference will identify the key challenges  in radiation protection that need to be addressed by the international community, as well as possible solutions.

It will provide a forum for the sharing of  experiences in applying the system of radiological protection, as provided for in the IAEA safety standards, to the protection of workers, patients, the public and the environment. Discussions will focus on  the radiological protection system’s basic principles and concepts as well as new scientific knowledge and new challenges.

The IAEA is organizing the conference  in cooperation with the European Commission, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the International Labour Organization, the Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the Pan American Health Organization, the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Health Organization.

Purpose and Objectives

Radioactivity and radiation sources are used widely in medicine, industry, research and agriculture, as well as for electricity generation. They make an important contribution to economic development and people’s well-being when used safely.

The IAEA supports Member States in work  to protect people and the environment from the harmful effects of ionizing radiation without unnecessarily restricting the many beneficial applications of radiation. The IAEA General Safety Requirements Part 3, Radiation Protection and Safety of Radiation Sources: International Basic Safety Standards (GSR Part 3), established requirements for protection and safety aimed at improving radiation protection of people and the environment. GSR Part 3 is complemented by a large number of safety guides that provide practical advice and address radiation safety in specific industries and for specific sub-groups of the population.

Authorities often face challenges in deciding if and how to regulate existing exposure situations, which include  a wide range of facilities and activities such as radon in homes, radionuclides in food and drinking water, international trade in commodities and consumer products, industrial applications involving exposure to naturally occurring radioactive material, and exposure of aircrew to cosmic radiation.

Large-scale nuclear and radiological emergencies are rare, but when they do occur, the radiation doses received by the exposed individuals can be high and the impact can reach beyond the State in which they take place.

The Conference’s scope includes both natural and artificial radiation sources.  Conference sessions will cover all exposure situations and the three basic principles of radiological protection: justification, optimization and dose limitation.

Topics for Technical Sessions

The IAEA welcomes high-quality contributions on all aspects of the system of radiological protection, focusing in particular on the topics listed below. Other relevant topics will also be considered for inclusion.

1.   Justification and optimization

  • Accounting for societal values;
  • Decision making and stakeholder involvement; and
  • Review of justification decisions.

2.   Dose constraints and reference levels

  • How to establish appropriate dose constraints and reference levels;
  • Regulatory and operational lessons;
  • Optimization below the reference level; and
  • Development and use of diagnostic reference levels.

3.   Applying the graded approach

  • The graded approach to regulation;
  • The graded approach to operational radiation protection;
  • Managing hazards and risks.

4.   Conservatism in radiation protection

  • Conservatism in the linear–no threshold model;
  • Conservatism in dose assessment and modelling; and
  • Communicating radiation risks.

5.   Planned exposure situations

  • Occupational dose limit for the lens of the eye;
  • Authorized discharges and protection of people and the environment;
  • Criteria for release of patients following administration of radionuclides; and
  • Dose limit for the public in planned exposure situations.

6.   Emergency exposure situations

  • Radiological criteria for transition;
  • Optimized protection strategies; and
  • Managing exposures of workers and the public.

7.   Existing exposure situations

  • Radon in homes and workplaces;
  • Natural and artificial radionuclides in food and drinking water; and
  • Cosmic ray exposure of aircrew and space crew; implications of space tourism.

8.   Non-medical human imaging

  • Exposures in medical facilities;
  • Exposures in non-medical facilities; and
  • Justification, optimization and ethical aspects.

9.   Applying the graded approach

  • Exemption of practices and materials;
  • Clearance of materials; and
  • Trade in contaminated commodities.

10. Capacity building

  • Education and training;
  • Competence in radiation protection; and
  • Safety culture.

Target Audience

The Conference will bring together regulators, researchers, operators and other radiation protection professionals.


A limited amount of space will be available for commercial vendors’ displays/exhibits during the conference. Interested parties should contact the Scientific Secretariat by email to RP2020@iaea.org before 1 June 2020.

Key Deadlines and Dates

  • 15 March 2020: Electronic submission of synopses through INDICO
  • 1 June 2020: Submission of Forms A and B through official channel
  • 15 July 2020: Notification of acceptance of synopses
  • No deadline: Registration only (submission of Form A through official channel)


To demonstrate its commitment to sustainability, the IAEA will organize this conference as a 'green meeting' according to the guidelines of the Austrian Ecolabel.

There will be a focus on the areas of paper smart documentation, waste reduction and recycling, and environmentally friendly catering.

Conference app

The IAEA Conferences and Meetings App provides a one-stop access to information on the Conference, exhibitions and scheduled side events. The app also allows users to put together their own personalized schedule of events. Via this app participants will be able to view contributed papers and the latest conference programme, message other participants, and view PowerPoint presentations released after the event. Participants will receive an email inviting them to register for the app approximately one week before the conference.

For iPhone or iPad users, get your free download through the Apple iTunes Store; those with Android devices can visit the Google Play Store.


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