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Enhancing Regional Cooperation in Radiation Protection Dosimetry

Course Participants Learn about Radiation Protection Measurements at the Dosimetry Lab in Seibersdorf

Protection from radiation is crucial, especially for people whose work consistently exposes them to it. Continuing assessment of the radiation situation in the working environment, as well as of the personal doses received by exposed staff, is necessary to ensure safe working conditions.

The IAEA’s Dosimetry Laboratory in Seibersdorf, Austria, recently hosted a week-long training course to support Member States. The course was focused on improving the accuracy of the calibration of equipment at national dosimetry laboratories that is used for radiation protection measurements by end-user institutions.  

The training course targeted Arab Member States that are part of the ARASIA group (The Cooperative Agreement for Arab States in Asia for Research, Development and Training Related to Nuclear Science and Technology). “We aim to enhance the level of the Secondary Standard Dosimetry Laboratories (SSDLs) in this region,” explained course director Paula Toroi. The network of SSDLs was created in 1976 by the IAEA and World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure coherence in dosimetry measurement standards internationally. The Network has expanded to include 67 Member States which work together to keep their equipment calibrated properly.

The training course brought together Member State scientists with various levels of experience in dosimetry. Some Member States represented are part of the SSDL Network already; others are working to become SSDL Network members. To this end, the IAEA is fostering cooperation in the ARASIA region. “Training courses and collaboration with more-developed programmes are usually the first steps in joining the SSDL Network”, Toroi explains.  

Jordan, for instance, has an established national dosimetry programme, but is not yet a member of the SSDL Network. Jordanian training course participant Al'aa Aladwan from the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) has been working at a dosimetry centre since 2013. She elaborates: “Our laboratory already performs calibrations for many hospitals and many government institutes, about 20 different institutes.”

Paula Toroi hopes that the enhanced regional cooperation will lead to the establishment of a stronger SSDL Network in the Middle East. As course lecturer, Mehenna Arib, Chief Health Physicist from the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, explains: “If you are a member of the SSDL Network you benefit from the assistance of the IAEA for the improvement of your calibration capacity, can participate in training courses, and also receive assistance from other members.”

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