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Now Available: New IAEA Online Platform to Enhance Clarity of Communication on Radiation Safety and Protection


The IAEA has launched a new online training platform, the Radiation Safety Navigator, to help radiation safety professionals better communicate to the general public about radiation risks, safety and protection.

People can neither see nor feel radiation, yet we are all exposed to some form of it in our daily life. Naturally occurring radioactive materials are present in the earth’s crust, the floors and walls of our homes, schools or offices, and in the food we eat and drink. Artificial radiation can save lives through cancer therapy and X-rays or CT scans used to diagnose diseases. At the same time, many of us may have incomplete knowledge about radiation safety and protection, and a great deal of uncertainty when it comes to understanding the risks of exposure in everyday life.

To help professionals responsible for communicating about radiation safety, protection and its risks to the general public and specialized industries, the IAEA has launched a new online training platform, Radiation Safety Navigator.

The Navigator contains ready-to-use explanations of key radiation protection terms; communication tips, such as advice on how to translate scientific unit measurements into tangible equivalents for non-scientific audiences and recommended communication tools and channels for disseminating information; and examples of the IAEA, international and national communication products, such as explanatory and awareness-raising posters, videos and leaflets. These tools are available across six topical areas: radioactivity and radioactive decay; radiation doses and effects; quantities and units; sources of radiation; radiation protection, and exposure to radon.

“The ultimate goal of the Navigator is to help radiation professionals deliver complex scientific messages related to radiation effects, radiation risk and radiation safety to non-scientific audiences, through understandable language and contemporary technical means,” said Miroslav Pinak, Head of the IAEA’s Radiation Monitoring and Safety Section. “The platform provides radiation protection professionals with hands-on guidance and ready-to-use material to effectively communicate about radiation.”

The Navigator is a response to the results of an IAEA survey conducted last year, which revealed several gaps in this area as well as requests for communication support from institutions in charge of communication of radiation effects, radiation risk and associated radiation protection measures.

More than half of the survey respondents from 60 regulatory bodies indicated that their organizations lacked a dedicated person responsible for communicating radiation safety and radiation protection measures to the public and specialized industries. This limitation has resulted in radiation professionals or other technical experts being tasked with providing explanations – and thereby having to navigate the line between when the use of technical language would be most effective, and when simplified, non-technical language would be more appropriate. The Navigator – easily accessible online – has been designed, therefore, to be used either on an ongoing basis to support regular communication activities, or as a one-off training tool, offering certification on completion.

Awoke Shiferaw Tiruneh, Communications Affairs Directorate Director at the Ethiopian Radiation Protection Authority, plans to use the Navigator in developing communication activities. “This is a unique platform offering online tools and best practices for a timely, transparent and open communication. On the platform, we can find tips on how to clarify the message and the types of visual tools to use which are specifically designed for our area.”

How to access the Navigator

The Navigator is publicly available via the IAEA Open Learning Management System. To access the platform:

  1. Register with the IAEA’s NUCLEUS platform.
  2. Confirm the email link received after your registration
  3. Once your IAEA Nucleus account is activated, enrol yourself in the course here
  4. After viewing the material, take the course quiz/quizzes. If you answer correctly at least 80%, you can obtain a certificate of completion.

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