The 16th session of the IACRS was hosted and chaired by the International Labour Organization. The main topics discussed at the 16th Session of the IACRS include:
- Development of the revision of the BSS and the EC BSS including the impact of new ICRP tissue reactions statement on BSS requirements, implementation of BSS in emergency situations (the experience of Fukushima), promotion of the new BSS
- Fukushima Daiichi NPP accident
- Radiation protection in security screening
- Radon exposure
- Radiation risks
- Occupational exposure
At the meeting participated representatives of the European Commission (EC), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Radiation (UNSCEAR), the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), the International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurements (ICRU), the International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA), the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO), the International Organisation of Employers (IOE), and the ILO.
It was recognized at the meeting that Standards that are in place need to be supported by appropriate tools. Many tools exist currently but they need to be readily available and should be simple to use, coherent and brought up to date where necessary. Better ways of obtaining and sharing information in the event of such emergencies as the Fukushima accident need to be available.
Significant issues such as international trade of goods after major nuclear/radiological events needed to be carefully addressed at the international level as it was difficult to find common ground among different countries approaches. There was a need to harmonize approaches and define a strategy. The committee encourages its members to look to harmonizing their approach to the establishment of criteria for international trade and transport in such emergency events and to have available effective tools to cover all aspects of such events, and to ensure they are readily available and useable.
As to the ICRP Statement on the equivalent dose limits for the lens of the eye, the BSS Secretariat took note of the ICRP report on tissue reactions and the ICRP Statement on the new dose limit on equivalent dose for the lens of the eye for occupational exposure in planned exposure situations, and that there will be further international discussion on this topic and its implications also at the next ICRP meeting in October 2011. It agreed that taking steps to reduce doses to the lens of the eye is warranted. It recognizes that the establishment of the reduced dose limit for the lens of the eye has regulatory implications and has discussed the practical impact intensively. It was concluded that more information on this impact is needed.
It was pointed out that the ICRP has not yet recommended changes neither for the dose limit for the lens of the eye for members of the public, nor for other categories such as apprentices and students. The BSS Secretariat recommended, taking into account the necessity to have the revised BSS available as soon as possible, to continue with the approval process of the current draft 5.0 BSS and to formulate a process for adopting reduced equivalent dose limits for the lens of the eye after having clarified the practical impact. It agreed that the issue should be described in the preface to the revised BSS.
The Inter Agency Committee on Radiation Safety (IACRS)
The IACRS is a forum for consultation and collaboration on radiation safety matters among international organizations. One of the major achievements of the IACRS was to organize the preparation of the 1996 edition of the FAO/IAEA/ILO/OECD-NEA/PAHO/WHO International Basic Safety Standards for Protection against Ionizing Radiation and for the Safety of Radiation Sources (BSS).The membership comprises of Secretariats from the following intergovernmental agencies/organizations:
- European Commission (EC)
- Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO)
- International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
- International Labour Organisation (ILO)
- Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (NEA/OECD)
- Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO)
- United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR)
- World Health Organisation (WHO)
The following non-governmental organisations currently have observer status: