The actors and the basics of radioprotection regulations

The rules of radiation protection are not specific to France, but are issued from worldwide directives. Norms, standards or recommendations are issued by different international organizations. Several actors are involved in the development of radiation protection rules and their legal framework.

Elaboration of radiation protection rules
The radiation protection guidelines and norms are based on analysis of UNSCEAR and ICRP recommendations. They are discussed at the international level by large institutions like the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Labor Organization (ILO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) and at European level by the EURATOM before reaching national legislation.
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The “United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation”, UNSCEAR is composed of high level experts representing the countries concerned. This committee regularly publishes reports on exposure to natural and artificial radiations that take into account the evolution of knowledge and the experience of professionals.

The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) goes further by publishing recommendations on the protection of workers, public and patients against ionizing radiation. A nongovernmental organization, the ICRP is composed of experts from various disciplines from around the world. Its recommendations are based on the reports of UNSCEAR and take into account the state of knowledge. ICRP has to published in 2007 a new guidance updating the previous one,

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) publishes and revises standards in the fields of nuclear safety and radiation protection based on the recommendations of the ICRP. It collaborates on publication of international standards for protection against ionizing radiation and those of security of radioactive sources with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other large organizations. The IAEA has also started a revision of the basic safety Standards for protection against radiation, while a new standard on principles of safety was published in late 2006;

At the national levels there are radioprotection and nuclear safety agencies, like tbe Nuclear Regulatory commission (NRC) in the USA, the Institut de Radioprotection et Sûreté Nucléaire (IRSN) and the Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire (ASN) in France.

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