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Submitted by Dr. Peter Beck , Seibersdorf Laboratories
   Commenting on behalf of the organisation
Document Radiological Protection from Cosmic Radiation in Aviation
 

Response concerning the ICRP Publication „Radiological Protection from Cosmic Radiation in Aviation“


 


General Remarks


The document repeats information provided already by documents from the very past. Nevertheless, it supports and highlights taking into account further most exposed groups such as frequent flyers.


The report should be updated by recent publications, in particular regarding SPE.


The European Space Agency, ESA is spending a lot of effort regarding public information by internet as well as by online tools in the topic on radiation effects in flight altitudes. We strongly suggest including this information!


 


Specific remarks


Page 18


(20)       At present, it is almost impossible to estimate in advance the dose of an SPE with any precision. The calculation of the doses to aircraft crew for the elevated effective dose rates in the event of an SPE is usually made retrospectively using results from ground-level neutron monitors, or in exceptional cases, with on-board measurements. The calculated dose rate can be quite substantial, but is characterised with associated large uncertainties of the order of factor 5 or more according to results obtained by EURADOS Working Group 11 (EC, 2004, Beck et al., 2008).


 


We suggest including the following recent publication to this topic:


Beck, 2008


Validation of modelling the radiation exposure due to solar particle events at aircraft altitudes.


Beck P, Bartlett DT, Bilski P, Dyer C, Flückiger E, Fuller N, Lantos P, Reitz G, Rühm W, Spurny F, Taylor G, Trompier F, Wissmann F.


Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 2008;131(1):51-8. doi: 10.1093/rpd/ncn238. Epub 2008 Oct 6.


 


Page 19


(22)        Individual exposure in aircraft can be estimated relatively easily with computer programmes. Indeed, the cosmic radiation field in an airplane is to a large extent uniform: for a given flight, the exposure of different individuals is similar (Battistoni et al., 2005, Beck et al., 2005). …


 


We suggest including the following publication to this topic:


Beck, 2005


FLUKA simulation of TEPC response to cosmic radiation


P. Beck, A. Ferrari, M. Pelliccioni,  S. Rollet and  R. Villari


Radiat Prot Dosimetry (20 December 2005)   116  (1-4):  327-330, doi: 10.1093/rpd/nci231


 


Page 20, (26)


Comment:  


We suggest that in this ICRP reports it is appropriate to use references of publications, which discusses and compare several flight codes, such as published by EURADOS and by the European Commission.  These publications exist and we strongly suggest providing the reference to those documents.  


Therefore, we suggest replacing the following text:


(26)        As an example, the effective doses for three flight routes estimated with the software SIEVERT1 (based on the EPCARD code, Mares, 2009; Schraube 2002– and available at http://www.sievert-system.org) can be found in Table 2. One can notice that the value of the dose rate for the trans-equatorial route is the lowest. Other examples of doses can be found in Appendix A.


Table 2. Example of effective dose calculated for different flight routes (for flights during 15 March 2013).    


 


by the following text:


(26) As an example, the effective doses for three flight routes assessed by codes assessing radiation exposure of aircraft crew due to galactic cosmic radiation can be found in Table 2 (EURADOS, 2012, EC, 2012).   


Table 2. Example of effective dose calculated for different flight routes


(Selection of 3 out of 23 calculated routes doses for international flight routes)


 


EURADOS, 2012


Comparison of Codes Assessing Radiation Exposure of Aircraft Crew due to Galactic Cosmic Radiation  


J.F. Bottollier-Depois, P. Beck, M. Latocha, V. Mares, D. Matthiä, W. Rühm, F. Wissmann


EURADOS Report 2012-03, Braunschweig, May 2012,


ISSN 2226-8057, ISBN 978-3-943701-02-9


 


European Commission, EC, 2012


Comparison of codes assessing radiation exposure of aircraft crew due to galactic cosmic radiation


Radiation Protection No 172, Directorate-General for Energy, Directorate D — Nuclear Safety & Fuel Cycle, Unit D4 — Radiation Protection, 2012


ISSN 1681-6803, ISBN 978-92-79-27036-9, doi: 10.2768/22100


 


Page 29


(60)        However, for the sake of transparency and applying the right to know principle, the Commission recommends that general information about cosmic radiation should be made available for all passengers. For example, this information could be posted on airlines’ websites. These websites could make the people aware of the free and validated calculators that estimate flight doses (EURADOS, 2012, EC, 2012, ESA, 2015). , such as with EPCARD, SIEVERT, etc. Annex A gives estimated effective doses for some typical international flight routes.


Comment:


We suggest that in this ICRP reports it is appropriate to use references of publications, which discusses and compare several flight codes, such as published by EURADOS, the European Commission, as well as the European Space Agency, ESA.  These publications exist and we strongly suggest providing the reference to those documents.  


European Space Agency, ESA, 2015


http://swe.ssa.esa.int/web/guest/space-radiation (last access, October 2015).


 


Page 29


(62)        In addition, the Commission encourages frequent flyers who may be concerned by their cosmic radiation exposure to assess their personal exposure using freely available dose calculators, in order to be aware of their exposure and adapt their flight frequency as they feel the need (EURADOS, 2012, EC, 2012, ESA, 2015).


 


Comment:


We suggest that in this ICRP reports it is appropriate to use references of publications, which discusses and compare several flight codes, such as published by EURADOS, the European Commission, as well as the European Space Agency, ESA.  These publications exist and we strongly suggest providing the reference to those documents.


 


Page 30


(65) Like for any occupationally exposed worker, the Commission recommends that annual effective dose of each aircraft crew be assessed. The annual effective dose can be derived from the staff-roster and typical effective dose rates using dedicated computer codes. The Commission recommends the occasional use of on- board ambient monitoring for verification and validation of dose calculations (ICRU, 2010). Because the contribution appearance of SPEs to the total dose is marginal rare, the Commission does not recommend the use of specific monitoring systems such as real time alert systems.


Comment:


Since the dose of one SPE could be in the order of 1-2 mSv we suggest “rare appearance” instead of “marginal dose”. Further, we strongly suggest discussion the improvement of SPE assessment calculation methods.


 


 


Page 32


(75)        As mentioned in Sections 2.4 and 4.2, several easy-to-use tools have been made available on the internet in recent years, which allow dose calculations associated with all possible flights (EURADOS, 2012, EC, 2012, ESA, 2015).


 


Page 34, Appendix A


We strongly suggest that the table of Appendix A should be replaced by flight route data concluding from published route doses by EURADOS, 2012, and EC, 2012!


 


The reference for the HAVERSINE formula should be added.


 


We strongly recommended revising the current version.


 


Dr. Peter Beck


Seibersdorf Laboratories


Forschungszentrum Seibersdorf


2444 Seibersdorf, Austria