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Three New IAEA Safety Guides on Radiation Protection Available


(Image: F. Nassif/IAEA)

Three related safety guides, published recently in cooperation with UN Environment, will help national experts and governmental organizations enhance the protection of people and the environment from the harmful effects of radiation. These guides provide guidance on the implementation of the requirements in the International Basic Safety Standards.

“These documents enhance the already existing guidance, methodologies and procedures, incorporating the latest conceptual and methodological advances for environmental protection,” said Diego Telleria, an IAEA radiation protection specialist.

Radiation and radioactive substances have many beneficial applications, ranging from power generation to uses in medicine, industry and agriculture, and “radiation risks to workers and the public and to the environment that may arise from these applications have to be assessed and, if necessary, controlled and subjected to safety requirements,” Telleria said.

The recommendations provided in these three Safety Guides, together with the requirements of IAEA General Safety Requirements( GSR Part 3), provide a basis for including environmental considerations in the assessment and management of radioactive releases.

  • IAEA Safety Standards Series No. GSG-8, Radiation Protection of the Public and the Environment, provides high level/generic guidance in relation to the protection of members of the public and the environment in planned exposure situations, existing exposure situations and emergency exposure situations. Key stakeholders from governments, regulatory bodies and operating organizations are provided with a structured approach to controlling radiation exposures resulting from the operation of facilities and environmental contamination resulting from accidents.
  • IAEA Safety Standards Series No. GSG-9, Regulatory Control of Discharges to the Environment provides specific guidance on the application of the principles of radiation protection and safety objectives associated with the control of radioactive discharges from facilities and activities and on the process for their authorization. Recommendations and guidance focus on the process for the authorization for discharges, including the setting of discharge limits, the means of verification of compliance, that will contribute to control radiological impact on the public and the environment.
  • IAEA Safety Standards Series No. GSG-10, Prospective Radiological Environmental Impact Assessment for Facilities and Activities details the general framework and methodologies for prospective radiological environmental impact assessment. It defines various types of methodologies that can enhance prospective radiological environmental impact assessments, which are normally undertaken at the pre-operational and the operational stage of a facility or activity, as a requirement for their authorization. The methodologies are also applicable for governmental decision-making processes, such as for the environmental impact assessment process included in several national and international regulatory frameworks.

Member States are encouraged to apply these recommendations and use them to enhance and develop national regulations on protection of the environment from harmful effects of ionizing radiation, Telleria said. Effective national radiation protection infrastructures, including the existing and those under development, can benefit from these new safety guides that promote the establishment optimal levels of protection.

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