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 Table of Contents 
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 38  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 175-176  

New Publications


Date of Web Publication11-Feb-2016

Correspondence Address:
Bhuwan C Bhatt

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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How to cite this article:
Bhatt BC. New Publications. Radiat Prot Environ 2015;38:175-6

How to cite this URL:
Bhatt BC. New Publications. Radiat Prot Environ [serial online] 2015 [cited 2022 Jan 19];38:175-6. Available from: https://www.rpe.org.in/text.asp?2015/38/4/175/176163

Preparedness and Response for a Nuclear or Radiological Emergency- General Safety Requirements, IAEA Safety Standards Series No. GSR Part 7, STI/PUB/1708, IAEA, Vienna, 2015, pp. 1-102. (Jointly sponsored by the FAO, IAEA, ICAO, ILO, IMO, INTERPOL, OECD/NEA, PAHO, CTBTO, UNEP, OCHA, WHO, WMO)

The present IAEA Standard publication establishes the requirements for an adequate level of preparedness and response for a nuclear or radiological emergency. The application of these requirements is also intended to mitigate the consequences of a nuclear or radiological emergency if such an emergency arises despite all efforts made to prevent it. The fulfillment of these requirements will contribute to the harmonization worldwide of arrangements for preparedness and response for a nuclear or radiological emergency. These requirements are intended to be applied by the government at the national level by means of adopting legislation and establishing regulations, and by making other arrangements, including assigning responsibilities (e.g., to the operating organization or the operating personnel of a facility or an activity, local or national officials, response organizations or the regulatory body) and verifying their effective fulfillment. The requirements are also intended for use by response organizations, operating organizations and the regulatory body in respect of preparedness and response for a nuclear or radiological emergency, as well as by authorities with responsibilities for emergency preparedness and response at the local and regional level and, as appropriate, by relevant international organizations at the international level.

As per the scope of the Standard, the requirements apply for preparedness and response for a nuclear or radiological emergency in relation to all those facilities and activities, as well as sources, with the potential for causing radiation exposure, environmental contamination or concern on the part of the public warranting protective actions and other response actions. The requirements also apply to preparedness and response for a nuclear or radiological emergency in relation to off-site jurisdictions that may need to take the appropriate actions. The requirements apply for preparedness and response for a nuclear or radiological emergency irrespective of the initiator of the emergency, whether the emergency follows a natural event, a human error, a mechanical or other failure, or a nuclear security event. The requirements do not cover preparedness for, or response measures that are specific to, nuclear security events, for which recommendations are provided in the relevant references cited in the Standard. Such response measures include activities for the identification, collection, packaging and transport of evidence contaminated with radionuclides, nuclear forensics and related actions in the context of investigation into the circumstances surrounding a nuclear security event. The requirements established here do provide for a coordinated and integrated approach to preparedness and response for a nuclear or radiological emergency arising from a nuclear security event that necessitates protective actions and other response actions to be taken for protection of members of the public, workers and emergency workers, helpers in an emergency and patients.

This IAEA Standard is divided into of five sections which include: (1) Introduction; (2) Interpretation, Resolution of Conflicts and Entry into Force; (3) Goals of Emergency Preparedness and Response; (4) General Requirements; (5) Functional Requirements and (6) Requirements for Infrastructure. It also includes two Appendices on: (i) Guidance values for Restricting Exposure of Emergency Workers and (ii) Generic Criteria for use in Emergency Preparedness and Response. More details could be found in the IAEA Standard.

Twelfth Annual Warren K. Sinclair Keynote Address: The Influence of the NCRP on Radiation Protection in the United States: Guidance and Regulation; Kenneth R. Kase, Health Phys. 2016;110 (2) 127-145.

The Warren K. Sinclair Keynote Address for the 2015 Annual Meeting of the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) describes the Council's influence in the development of radiation protection guidance in the United States since its founding in 1929 as the U.S. Advisory Committee on X-Ray and Radium Protection. The National Bureau of Standards (NBS) was the coordinating agency for the Advisory Committee, and its reports were published as NBS handbooks. In 1946, the Advisory Committee was renamed the National Committee on Radiation Protection and remained so until NCRP was chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1964. In 1931, the U.S. Advisory Committee on X-Ray and Radium Protection proposed the first formal standard for protecting people from radiation sources as NBS Handbook 15 and issued the first handbook on radium protection, NBS Handbook 18. Revised recommendations for external exposure were issued in 1936 and for radium protection in 1938 and remained in force until 1948. Throughout its 86 y history, the Council and its predecessors have functioned as effective advisors to the nation on radiation protection issues and have provided the fundamental guidance and recommendations necessary for the regulatory basis of the control of radiation exposure, radiation-producing devices, and radioactive materials in the United States.

One common theme among all the organizations and regulatory entities and recommending bodies is the philosophy that radiation protection be based on the principles of justification, dose limitation, and the application of ALARA. This is demonstrated in the area of occupational radiation safety at U.S. nuclear power plants. Every plant has a well-developed program for maintaining radiation exposures ALARA that involves the entire workforce. The effectiveness of operating under the basic principles of radiation protection is demonstrated across all occupations in the United States in which exposure to radiation is possible. As documented by NCRP (2009), although the annual dose limit is 50 mSv, for occupationally exposed individuals, the average annual effective dose is about 1 mSv. NCRP recommendations and guidance documents have had a great influence on the application and implementation of these principles and protection of the population while permitting the beneficial use of technologies that may lead to radiation exposure. This is evident from the more than 110 of 175 reports and 23 commentaries that are cited in this Keynote Address.

Radiation and Regulation in a Post-Fukushima World, Allison Macfarlane, Health Phys. 2016;110 (2):118–122.

The nuclear reactor accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant in March 2011 led to a loss of trust in nuclear power around the globe and acutely in Japan. The reactions of the public in Japan and other countries, such as the United States, and the governmental reactions to the accident offer an opportunity to learn ways to improve safety and communication during and after a nuclear accident.

Internationally, working toward the standardization of rules and regulations governing nuclear safety is laudable but assumes that there is only one way to ensure safety—an arguable claim. Certainly there are good practices that can be embraced by all, as was demonstrated by the similarity of the changes adopted by different nuclear regulators in response to Fukushima. From the public's perspective, the more agreement among regulations, the better.

But it's not enough to just work toward uniform standards. Because “an accident anywhere is an accident everywhere,” the nuclear industry more than most others must ensure that all power reactors in all countries take nuclear safety seriously. This means participating internationally in organizations such as the Convention on Nuclear Safety with openness toward sharing information and a willingness to accept critique and make changes.

Nuclear accidents have happened in the past and may happen again in the future. What is most important is to take the time and make the effort to learn from the accident. Instituting new lessons may be financially costly, require different thinking about procedures, and take time. All of these costs are worth it to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past.


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