ICRP Approves New Fundamental Recommendations on Radiological Protection

At its meeting in Essen, Germany, 19-21 March, the International Commission on Radiological Protection, ICRP, approved a new set of fundamental Recommendations on the protection of man and the environment against ionising radiation. These Recommendations will replace the Commission’s previous Recommendations from 1990.

‘The decision on Wednesday afternoon to approve the new Recommendations marks the completion of a project that started 9 years ago and included an unprecedented two rounds of completely public, world-wide consultation on earlier drafts’, says ICRP Chairman Dr Lars-Erik Holm. ‘The value of the advice we have received during these consultations, from numerous international and national organisations, from professional bodies, from experts and interested laymen, cannot be over-estimated.’

The new Recommendations take account of new biological and physical information and trends in the setting of radiation standards. While much more information is available now than in 1990, the overall estimate of the risk of various kinds of harmful effects after exposure to radiation remains fundamentally the same.

The three basic principles of radiological protection are still justification of activities that could cause or affect radiation exposures, optimisation of protection in order to keep doses as low as reasonably achievable, and the use of dose limits. The new Recommendations feature an improved and streamlined presentation, give more emphasis to protection of the environment, and provide a platform for developing an updated strategy for handling emergency situations and situations of pre-existing radiation exposures.

After copy-editing, the new Recommendations will be published in the Commission’s journal, the Annals of the ICRP.

Information: Dr Jack Valentin, Scientific Secretary of ICRP,scient.secretary@icrp.org; +46 8729 7275.


The Main Commission of ICRP in Essen.
Left to right, Prof. Jaiki Lee, South Korea, Prof, Yasuhito Sasaki, Japan, Dr Hans Menzel (observer), Switzerland, Prof. Christian Streffer, Germany, Dr Nataliya Shandala, Russian Federation, Dr Julian Preston, USA, Dr Annie Sugier, France, Dr Abel González, Argentina, Prof. Jan Pentreath, UK, Dr Jack Valentin (Scientific Secretary), Sweden, Dr Lars-Erik Holm (Chairman), Sweden, Dr Claire Cousins, UK, Dr Roger Cox, UK.  Not shown:  Prof. Ziqiang Pan, China, and Dr John Boice, USA.