• English
  • العربية
  • 中文
  • Français
  • Русский
  • Español

You are here

International Conference on Occupational Radiation Protection – Strengthening Radiation Protection of Workers – Twenty Years of Progress and the Way Forward

5–9 September 2022, Geneva, Switzerland

Conference on Occupational Radiation Protection - Twenty Years After 2022

Background

The first conference on this topic, the International Conference on Occupational Radiation Protection: Protecting Workers Against Exposure to Ionizing Radiation, was held in Geneva, Switzerland, from 26 to 30 August 2002. It was hosted by the Government of Switzerland and organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and was convened jointly with the International Labour Organization (ILO). The conference was co-sponsored by the European Commission (EC) and held in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO), the Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organizaion for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD/NEA), the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) and other international organizations. The conference assembled 324 delegates from 70 Member States and 13 international organizations. The recommendations and conclusions from the first conference resulted in an international action plan on occupational radiation protection that has been accelerating and guiding international efforts in improving occupational radiation protection worldwide. While the Geneva conference provided very broad international input on the status of occupational radiation protection at the time, much work was highlighted as remaining priority areas and specific workplace challenges were addressed in the areas of medicine, naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM), and the nuclear industry in general, where attention of the international community is needed.

The second international conference on Occupational Radiation Protection: Enhancing the Protection of Workers- Gaps, Challenges and Developments held at the IAEA’s Headquarters in Vienna, Austria, from 1 to 5 December 2014 was devoted to the enhancement of radiation protection of workers worldwide. The conference was organized by the IAEA and co-sponsored by the ILO, in cooperation with 15 organisations including EC, WHO, OECD/NEA, UNSCEAR and other international organizations. The conference assembled 471 delegates from 79 Member States and 21 international organizations. Experts in radiation protection and associated specialties from around the world reviewed the developments that had taken place during the twelve-year period since the Geneva conference in 2002 and exchanged information and experience in the field of occupational radiation protection with the objective of enhancing protection of workers.

The Occupational Radiation Protection Call-for-Action, was the major output of the second conference and comprises nine key areas, including implementing existing safety standards, strengthening assistance to countries with less developed programmes for occupational radiation protection, improving safety culture among exposed workers, and convening international forum for information exchange.

The third international conference on Occupational Radiation Protection: Strengthening Radiation Protection of Workers­­–Twenty Year of Progress and the Way Forward will be held at the International Conference Centre Geneva, Switzerland, from 5-9 September 2022. The conference will be organized by the IAEA, hosted by the Government of Switzerland and co-sponsored by the ILO and in cooperation with other international organizations.

The increasing use of medical procedures utilizing ionizing radiation and better access to this health technology resulted in rapid increase in the number of occupationally exposed workers in medicine over the years. Substantial occupational exposure may occur in certain medical procedures. It is a continuing challenge, in particular for exposure control and training of healthcare professionals in radiation protection issues.

There is an increasing awareness of the need to protect workers in industries involving Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM), and to apply a graded approach by regulators and operators’ resources for the management of worker protection. Experience exchange is needed to establish regulatory requirements for radiation protection in industrial processes involving NORM. Regulation and management of radon exposure in workplaces is also an important topic.

Nuclear energy is used in many Member States to meet rapid increase in energy demand. Introduction of nuclear power plants (NPPs) to the so called nuclear embarking countries and designs of new types of nuclear reactors have given rise to some new challenges for occupational radiation protection. As many nuclear reactors come to the end of their operating life, radiation protection during decommissioning activities have increased and affect radiation protection of workers.

Optimization is a key point for occupational radiation protection. Information systems (such as ISOE, ISEMIR) and networks (such as ORPNET) aiming to facilitate experience exchange on optimization have been established in nuclear industry, industrial radiography and interventional cardiology. The extension of such approaches to some other sectors, such as industrial processes involving NORM is expected. The findings and observations of peer reviews have indicated that such reviews have a positive impact on the implementation of optimization in some of the facilities.

Capacity building of technical services in radiation protection and the involvement of the stakeholders including regulators, representatives of the workers’ and employers’ organizations are essential for occupational radiation protection decision making in developing countries.

With the publication of ICRU/ICRP joint report (ICRU Report 95) on operational quantities for external radiation exposure, the impact on the existing radiation monitoring techniques needs to be re-assessed.

Experience and feedback arising from the implementation of the International Basic Safety Standards is important for harmonisation and future revision of the standards. In particular, the reduction of the dose limit for the lens of the eye has presented practical challenges in implementation and compliance, which will be discussed. The ongoing development of a safety culture should be promoted in order to prevent incidents/accidents.

With these issues in mind, and considering current trends and developments, the conference aims to focus efforts in these areas and maximizing the related positive impact for future international work.

Purpose and Objectives

The conference has the following objectives:

  • To exchange information and experience in the field of occupational radiation protection;
  • To review technical and regulatory advances, challenges and opportunities since the last conference on the topic organized in 2014;
  • To review the global situation on radiation protection of workers;
  • To identify priority actions and future needs;
  • To formulate conclusions and recommendations.

The conference is expected to identify proposal for actions leading to improved global occupational radiation protection system.

Themes and Topics

The IAEA welcomes high-quality contributions on all aspects of occupational radiation protection, focusing in particular on the topics listed below. This is not an exhaustive list and other relevant topics will also be considered for inclusion.

  1. Review of international standards and recommendations on occupational radiation protection, progress over the past twenty years and existing challenges
  2. Radiation effects and health risks from radiation exposure at the workplace
  3. Monitoring and dose assessment of occupational radiation exposures
  4. Occupational radiation protection in medicine
  5. Occupational radiation protection in the workplaces involving exposure to naturally occurring radioactive material, radon and cosmic rays
  6. Occupational radiation protection in industrial, research and educational facilities
  7. Occupational radiation protection in nuclear power plants and nuclear fuel cycle facilities
  8. Occupational radiation protection in emergency exposure situations and subsequent transition periods
  9. Radiation protection of workers in special cases (itinerant workers, apprentices, female workers)
  10. Optimization in occupational radiation protection
  11. Technical service providers in occupational radiation protection
  12. Education and training in occupational radiation protection
  13. Health surveillance; probability of causation of occupational harm attributable to radiation exposure; compensation
  14. Occupational radiation protection networks
  15. Management systems
  16. Occupational exposure levels and dose registries
  17. Safety culture in occupational radiation protection

Target Audience

The conference offers an opportunity to stakeholders involved in the implementation, management and/or development of occupational radiation protection policies to share and discuss experiences. Participants at the conference will include representatives of regulatory bodies, workers and employers involved in the use of radiation sources and in the operation of installations containing or handling radioactive materials including NORM, radiation protection experts, researchers, personnel from providers of occupational radiation protection technical services, and manufacturers of radiation emitting apparatus and other radiation sources. Representatives of workers’ and employers’ organizations, emergency workers/emergency response organisations as well as other interested parties would also find this conference of interest.

Structure

The opening session will include welcome addresses by representatives from the IAEA, the Swiss Government, the ILO as co-sponsor of the conference and the Conference President. The session will be further complemented by a keynote presentation on the importance and unique aspects of occupational radiation protection.

The opening session will be followed by a briefing session involving international organizations that have collaborated since the last international conference.  

A series of topical sessions will cover selected areas of occupational radiation protection. The topic of each session will be introduced by a chairperson, followed by invited presentations and a summary of the session-related contributed papers presented by a rapporteur. Each topical session will conclude with a plenary discussion.

Poster sessions will be included in the programme for viewing and to encourage discussion.

Round table discussions will be dedicated to identifying recommendations for future actions. After an introduction of the topic by the chairperson, brief statements will be delivered by the panel members followed by a plenary discussion involving the audience.

Finally, during the concluding session, the chairpersons of the topical sessions and round table discussions will deliver their summaries and the Conference President will present the conference findings, conclusions and recommendations on the way forward.

During the conference, a commercial exhibition will allow vendors to present their recent experience and developments in occupational radiation protection.

Call for Papers

All participants who wish to give presentations (in the form of posters) at the conference must submit a synopsis on one of the topics listed under Section C of the Announcement. All submissions, apart from invited papers, must present original work and should not have been published elsewhere.

F.1. Submission of Synopses

Synopses (one or a maximum of two printed A4 pages, including figures and references) must be uploaded to the conference’s file submission system (IAEA-INDICO), which will be available on the conference web page (see Section P of the Announcement) until 31 March 2022 (extended deadline). No other submission route will be accepted. Specifications for the layout will be available on INDICO.

In addition, authors must electronically submit the following two forms to their appropriate governmental authority (see Section G of the Announcement) for transmission to the IAEA. These forms must be received by the IAEA no later than 31 March 2022:

  • Participation Form (Form A)
  • Form for Submission of a Paper (Form B)

IMPORTANT: The Programme Committee will consider uploaded synopses only if these two forms have been received by the IAEA through the established official channels.

F.2. Acceptance of Synopses

The Secretariat reserves the right to exclude synopses that do not comply with its technical or scientific quality standards and/or that do not apply to one of the topics above.

This conference has plenary technical sessions, so no parallel technical sessions will be organized. Authors who prefer to present their papers as posters are requested to indicate this preference on Form A and in INDICO, at the time of submitting their synopsis.

Authors will be notified by 15 June 2022 as to whether their submission has been accepted for presentation at the conference as a poster.

F.3. Proceedings

The welcoming addresses, keynote and invited presentations, the rapporteurs’ reports, the chairpersons’ summaries, and the conference conclusions will be compiled in an electronic format and reproduced in unedited form.

Key Deadlines and Dates

  • 31 March 2022: Submission of synopses through IAEA-INDICO (extended deadline)
  • 29 April 2022: Deadline for submission of synopses together with the Form for Submission of a Paper (Form B) and the Participation Form (Form A) through the competent national authority using the InTouch+ Platform (extended deadline)
  • 29 April 2022: Deadline for submission of the Grant Application Form (Form C), together with Form A, through the competent national authority using the InTouch+ Platform (extended deadline)
  • 15 June 2022: Notification of acceptance of synopsis for poster presentation
  • No deadline: Registration only (no paper submission, no grant request) using Form A through the InTouch+ Platform

Greening

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 and  exhibitions. 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 symposium.

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

Stay in touch

Newsletter