Radiological Protection of People and the Environment in the Event of a Large Nuclear Accident

The draft Radiological Protection of People and the Environment in the Event of a Large Nuclear Accident is now available for public consultation. We welcome comments from individuals and organisations. The draft document can be downloaded from the ICRP website. Comments must be submitted through the ICRP website no later than September 20, 2019.

Abstract

This publication provides a framework for the protection of people and the environment in the case of large nuclear accidents, drawing on the experience of Chernobyl and Fukushima. The immediate response is an emergency exposure situation, while longer term post-accident rehabilitation is considered as an existing exposure situation. A nuclear accident inevitably creates new circumstances and consequences for the health and well-being of people, both in the immediate vicinity of the facility and beyond. Although actions to reduce radiation exposure can be relatively straightforward, the implementation of protection should take careful account of all hazards and implications, both radiological and non-radiological, in order to provide reasonable and sustainable living conditions. In both exposure situations, these objectives are achieved using the fundamental principles of justification of decisions and optimisation of protection with reference levels. An emergency response is characterised by rapid and responsive decision making and actions, often with very little information. This response must rely on emergency preparedness based on actions that most closely match the actual situation. The decision to terminate urgent protective actions will need to reflect the prevailing circumstances as time progresses. Once the situation is under control, the process of recovery can begin. In this process, individual lifestyles become a key factor to control radiation exposure. It is the role of the authorities to provide the conditions and means for sharing of expertise and information to enable individuals to make informed decisions about their own lives, and to develop a radiological protection culture. ICRP recommends that authorities should involve key representative stakeholders to participate at all stages in emergency and recovery management.

Draft Document: Radiological Protection of People and the Environment in the Event of a Large Nuclear Accident


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