The Future of Radiological Protection


HERCA Suggestions for ICRP Future Work Areas

Author(s): Karla Petrová



The presentation describes first view of HERCA (Heads of European Radiation Protection Competent Autorities) on the refinement of System of Radiation Protection started by ICRP. Based on the consultation amongst the HERCA members it was concluded that currently the most popular topics for suggested future ICRP-work are:

  • Simplification of the system of RP
  • Justification and optimisation, use of reference levels
  • Radon
  • Communication

It must be stressed also that these results cannot be understood as HERCA-priorities of these topics in general, but they reflect the (distribution of) votes within HERCA with respect to suggestions for further work of ICRP on these topics.

It should be discussed and explored further what type of future work by ICRP on these topics is needed, according to the national radiation protection regulators collaborating within HERCA. Members of HERCA are prepared to contribute to the refinement of the System of Radiological Protection. Appreciable effort will be dedicated to this work. HERCA working groups and special task force will collect relevant feedback from European regulatory practices in specific areas and will formulate a common views and needs for modifications or changes of current system. This could be done by elaboration of specific HERCA documents or publications based on internal discussions or discussions with relevant stakeholders, organization of topical workshops or active participation in different events organized by others.

Keywords: HERCA; European regulators



Christopher Clement

Thanks for your presentation, Karla. We really appreciate the HERCA's effort to systematically look at which areas of the System of RP need the most attention, and encourage others to do the same. The more involvement there is in the coming years, the better the next version of Publication 103 will be.

Although there are many technical, philosophical, and practical questions to consider, your first point about clarification is essential. We know the ICRP recommendations are challenging even for RP experts. We need to strive for more clarity, and to ensure that people who benefit from RP (patients, workers, and the public, i.e. everyone) are able to see and understand how it works.

Bernd Lorenz

Operators have to implement what regulators have fixed. ICRP has a responsibility to recommend things that are reasonably  implementable. The proposal by ICRU/ICRP on new dose quantities is an example where new things should be introduced with no gain for safety. That is not good.