Updating the ICRP'S Recommendations: A Practitioners Perspective

Douglas Chambers
2021 Zenodo  
The International Commission on Radiological Protection's (ICRP) system of radiological protection is a cornerstone of international radiation protection practice. The ICRP is embarking on a on a review and revision of the System of Radiological Protection which will consider amongst other factors, changes in science and society. The ICRP has identified a number of areas that will be reviewed ranging from basic concepts to the radiation protection framework itself. As currently written, the
more » ... 's documents and recommendations are, in the authors view, a bit opaque. Based on the authors experience in presenting to lay audiences and regulatory panels, this can present a significant challenge in communications. Thus, in addition to the ICRP clarifying a number of technical issues, consideration should be given to providing lay readable summaries of key recommendations. This paper describes examples of challenges experienced by the author in presenting ICRP recommendations to non-technical audiences, among them, the often (mis-) interpretation of the application of the concepts of dose limits, dose constraints, and reference levels. Another area that would benefit from further clarification is the application of the ALARA principle "As Low As Reasonably Achievable, taking social and economic considerations into account" the concept doesn't mean zero dose but represents a balancing of factors. This paper also discusses a few select items of broad concern in the radiation protection community with respect to either or both the underpinning science and or, clarity of current presentation. Specifically, for purposes of illustration, this paper comments on the following topics. The use of the linear -no-threshold (LNT) dose– response (assumption) as a radiation protection quantity which is important as a pragmatic model that underpins the use of effective dose as a radiation protection quantity. However, at low doses, it may not be possible to measure dose per se and moreover, when the doses are low (by measurement and m [...]
doi:10.5281/zenodo.5650020 fatcat:r4gpsnzdgvautaqhofmid5a77e