Occupational Radiation Protection Network (ORPNET)

The Occupational Radiation Protection Network (ORPNET) is a web-based network that promotes the optimization of occupational radiation protection. It provides comprehensive information about worldwide, regional and national networks and systems related to the radiation protection of workers, and it enables participating networks to cooperate with each other. Information about upcoming meetings, new publications, joint projects, posters and other related news is also featured.

Through ORPNET, participants share good practices and facilitate the implementation of radiation protection measures that make exposure as low as reasonably achievable – a principle known by its abbreviation ALARA. The network also supports experience exchange and aims to enable users to ensure that activities at the national and international level complement each other.

Exposure of workers to radiation can occur as a result of various human activities, including work associated with the nuclear fuel cycle, the use of radioactive sources and X ray machines in medicine, scientific research, agriculture and industry. Workers who handle materials containing enhanced concentrations of naturally occurring radionuclides also can be exposed. Adequate radiation protection of workers is essential.

ORPNET was established in 2010, as a result of an IAEA and International Labour Organization Action Plan that had been created following a request in a resolution adopted at the 2002 IAEA General Conference. The resolution took into account the findings and recommendations from the first International Conference on Occupational Radiation Protection, held in 2002.

Two worldwide networks, the International System on Occupational Exposures (ISOE) the Information System on Occupational Exposure in Medicine, Industry and Research (ISEMIR) are part of ORPNET, as are regional networks including the European ALARA Network (EAN), the European ALARA Network for Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (EAN NORM) and the European Medical ALARA Network (EMAN).

Other participants include regional networks originally set up by the IAEA, including Regional European and Central Asian ALARA Network), the Asian ALARA Network (ARAN) and the Network to Optimize Occupational Radiological Protection in Latin American (REPROLAM).

ORPNET was further developed and adapted in line with discussions at the 2012 and 2014 International and Regional ALARA Networks Coordination Meetings, and at a side-event of the second International Conference on Occupational Radiation Protection, held in 2014.

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