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Coming Up: Fully Virtual IAEA Radiation Safety Conference

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Radiation safety experts worldwide are invited to take part in sharing practical experience of implementing the IAEA safety standards to protect workers, patients, the public and the environment from natural and artificial radiation sources, at a fully virtual IAEA conference from 9 to 20 November.

More than 600 regulators, researchers, operators and radiation protection practitioners have already registered for the International Conference on Radiation Safety: Improving Radiation Protection in Practice.

“While the COVID-19 outbreak has put face-to-face meetings on hold and introduced a new way of working and networking for all of us, radiation safety is not on hold,” said Juan Carlos Lentijo, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security. “We continue providing support to our Member States in implementing the current system of radiological protection based on the IAEA’s safety requirements document.”

The virtual conference has been extended from a one week period to two weeks. The new timeframe, with later morning and earlier afternoon sessions in Central European Time, aims to accommodate broader participation from other time zones, giving everyone an opportunity to contribute and identify key challenges and solutions in radiation protection.

The conference will include expert-led round table discussions on the latest developments in the field, including lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic in relation to radiation protection, and technical sessions where selected participants will present their work on topics, ranging from applying the principle of justification to safety culture.

“The virtual format represents several technical and organizational challenges, but it also offers many opportunities to reach a wider audience from all countries, and we are also able to contribute to reducing the carbon footprint caused by international travel,” said Tony Colgan, Head of the IAEA Radiation Protection Unit and Technical Officer for the conference.

The decision for a fully virtual conference was agreed with seven international organizations cooperating in the organization of the Conference − the European Commission (EU), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (NEA-OECD), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Health Organization (WHO). All of these organizations co-sponsor the IAEA’s safety requirements document, Radiation Protection and Safety of Radiation Sources: International Basic Safety Standards (BSS), used in many countries as the basis for national legislation in radiation protection.

How to participate

So far, more than 600 participants have been designated through their national authority to participate, many of which will be delivering oral presentations and displaying posters based on their research online at the event.

Although the deadline to apply to present has passed, anyone interested in joining the discussions and listening to the presentations can fill in the participation form on the conference webpage without the need to have national designation. The IAEA will continue to accept registration forms in the lead up to, and throughout the duration of, the event. Registered participants will gain full access to all virtual sessions, side events and materials posted online. 

For those who would like to just listen to the conference, view-only livestream access will be available on the conference website, for the opening and closing sessions, all technical sessions and some side events. Participants interested in accessing the view-only livestream do not need to register. They will have access from the livestream link available a few days ahead of the event on the conference webpage.

Young Professional Programme

A special programme for students and professionals aged 35 years and younger is being organized as part of the conference. The programme aims to encourage young professionals to further their experience and skills as part of the growing community of radiation safety advocates, to help ensure the continued safe use of radiation, and the benefits gained from its use in the various aspects of our daily life from health to agriculture.

Young professionals have been selected based on abstract submissions to present their research during the conference and act as co-Chairs during the technical sessions. The IAEA is also organizing professional development events for young people as part of the programme, including virtual networking opportunities and a speaker series in which experts from the various fields in radiation safety will offer career insight. 

If you are aged 35 or younger and wish to participate in the professional development programme, please complete the registration form here so that the conference secretariat can contact you directly. The IAEA is also encouraging the participation of women at the event, who are working or studying in the field of radiation safety.

For more information about the International Conference on Radiation Safety, contact the Conference Secretariat or follow #RaSa2020 on social media.

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