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Call for Papers: International Conference on Occupational Radiation Protection

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Interested contributors have until 15 February 2022 to submit abstracts for the IAEA’s International Conference on Occupational Radiation Protection – Strengthening Radiation Protection of Workers – Twenty Years of Progress and the Way Forward, to be held from 5 to 9 September 2022 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Over 24 million people worldwide are monitored due to their potential or actual exposure to ionizing radiation in the course of their work. The IAEA issues safety standards and provides advice to national authorities to ensure their adequate protection.

“Occupational exposure can, for example, occur as a result of activities such as the medical uses of radiation for radiotherapy in cancer care or for radiography, the operation of nuclear installations, the production, transport and use of radioactive material, and the management of radioactive waste,” said Jizeng Ma, Head of the Occupational Radiation Protection Unit at the IAEA. “There is also an increasing global awareness of the need to protect workers in industries involving exposure due to natural sources of radiation such as in the production of oil and gas, phosphate fertilizers, mineral extraction and processing, tunnelling and underground workings, metal recycling and water treatment.”

“The introduction of nuclear power in an increasing number of countries and the designs of new types of nuclear reactors has resulted in the extension of occupational radiation protection programmes to more countries,” Ma added. “Occupational radiation protection is vital when using nuclear or radiation technology and due to the constantly changing work environment, radiation protection of workers during activities such as for decommissioning is becoming increasingly important as more nuclear reactors reach the end of their operational life.”

Organized in collaboration with the International Labour Organization, this conference will focus on efforts to strengthen international collaboration, provide a forum to discuss advances, challenges and opportunities since the last conference on the topic in 2014.  A main objective of the conference is to identify ways to support countries to improve national arrangements on occupational radiation protection based on the IAEA safety standards.

"This conference represents an essential meeting point to exchange, at the international level, on the progress of occupational radiation protection in all fields of activities as well as the challenges that remain to be tackled,” said Caroline Schieber, Project Leader at the Nuclear Protection Evaluation Center (CEPN).  “It constitutes a privileged place for sharing knowledge and experience and to meet key actors of occupational radiation protection from all over the world."

The conference will bring together representatives of regulatory bodies, workers’ associations and employers’ organizations involved in the use of radiation sources and in the operation of facilities and activities containing or handling radioactive material including naturally occurring radioactive material, as well as radiation protection experts, researchers, personnel from providers of occupational radiation protection technical services and manufacturers of radiation emitting apparatus and other radiation sources.

The main topics of the conference will include:

  • review of international standards and recommendations on occupational radiation protection, progress over the past twenty years and existing challenges,
  • radiation effects and health risks from radiation exposure at the workplace,
  • monitoring and dose assessment of occupational exposures,
  • occupational radiation protection in medicine,
  • occupational radiation protection in the workplaces involving exposure to naturally occurring radioactive material, radon and cosmic rays,
  • occupational radiation protection in industrial, research and educational facilities,
  • occupational radiation protection in nuclear power plants and nuclear fuel cycle facilities,
  • occupational radiation protection in emergency exposure situations and subsequent transition periods and
  • safety culture in occupational radiation protection.

Original contributions on these topics, in the form of poster presentations, are welcome. Those wishing to present should submit a synopsis (one or a maximum of two printed A4 pages, including figures and references) through the conference’s web-based file submission system (IAEA-INDICO). Further information, including on financial support for participation and detailed submission instructions, is available on the conference webpage.

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