IRPA at the IAEA General Conference in Vienna, Austria 2014
From September 22nd to 26th, the 58th IAEA General Conference took place at Vienna, Austria. More than 3000delegates from 162 Member States, international organizations and NGO’s met to discuss a range of essential topics not only in radiation safety. The IRPA was represented by the President Renate Czarwinski and Executive Council Member Alfred Hefner. Franz Kabrt from the Young Scientists and Professionals Team of the Austrian Radiation Protection Association (ÖVS) took care of the IRPA booth and provided information on IRPA’s activities to interested persons.
The General Conference started with a message from the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. Important topics raised during the conference implied the nuclear safety and strategies for its strengthening in Member States. In a roundtable the roles and opportunities of women in nuclear science and technology were discussed, as there is a lack of women working in these areas. But not only nuclear topics were on the schedule of the various side events during the conference. Also medical issues were discussed, e.g. the reduction of unnecessary diagnostic imaging in medicine.
Each General Conference covers a so-called Scientific Forum. This year’s theme was Radioactive Waste: Meeting the Challenge - Science and Technology for Safe and Sustainable Solutions. Main topic of presentations and discussion was the importance of an integrated approach to waste management, from its generation to disposal, including anticipation of future developments.
In the technical exhibition companies from Member States showed their new technologies mainly concerning nuclear engineering aspects.
The booth of IRPA was manned during the whole week of the General Conference and quite a lot of interested experts passed by, were interested in IRPA’s activities, how to join the association and asked many other organizational questions. The next International Conference – IRPA14 - held in Cape town in 2016 was also a key element of the discussion.
Concluding it was worthwhile to have a booth at this important conference of the IAEA. Therefore it is appropriate to have a similar presentation of IRPA during the IAEA Conference about Occupational Radiation Protection, taking place from 1st to 5th December 2014 in the IAEA.
From left to right: Franz Kabrt, Renate Czarwinski, Alfred Hefner at the IRPA booth 2014