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Radiation Safety Appraisals

Background - The International Atomic Energy Agency is authorized, by its Statute to establish Safety Standards for protection of health and minimization of danger to life and property and to provide for the application of those standards at the request of Member States.

Effective implementation of these Standards is essential for ensuring a high level of safety, therefore the Agency also has to appraise the compliance of these Standards in Member States to ensure they are being applied. These appraisals are carried out whenever there is a request from the Member State.

Occupational Radiation Protection Appraisals (ORPAS)

While each Member State is responsible for the system of regulation and monitoring of occupational radiation protection, the IAEA can also provide, at the request of the Member State or for its own purposes, an independent appraisal service for some or all aspects of occupational radiation protection. Such an appraisal provides an opportunity for a Member State to have its occupational radiation protection programme independently assessed and evaluated. An independent assessment is often useful to maintain or enhance the effectiveness of the programme and to identify in an objective and unbiased manner the areas where improvements may be required.

A secondary benefit is that an independent appraisal allows information on best practices from the host country to be made available to other Member States.

The occupational radiation protection appraisal service is an assessment conducted by international experts selected for their experience in such reviews, for their knowledge of international guidance and best practices, and for their ability to recognise and understand the strengths of different national systems and arrangements. Although the appraisal is based on international guidelines and best practices, it is not prescriptive nor is it rigid: it takes into account the practical context in the host country and emphasises the positive features of “how things are done” in that country.

The purpose of the assessment is to check the regulatory and practical implementation of occupational radiation protection arrangements. In other words, the appraisal tries to answer the question “are the arrangements adequate and will they work?” given the national context in which they are applied. An appraisal also aims at identifying specific strengths and best practices that can be shared with other Member States. Finally, an appraisal provides a basis for determining where improvements may be required and for recommending actions to make such improvements.

In support of the purpose, the key objectives of the appraisal are to:

  • provide the host country with an objective assessment of the provisions for occupational radiation protection.
  • identify the strengths in the host country which are unique and worthy of bringing to the attention of others.
  • promote the use of self-assessment by the host country.
  • identify areas where performance should be improved to meet international standards.
  • make recommendations on actions to be taken to achieve such improvements

Missions have been carried out for the Republic of Slovenia and Uruguay. Further missions are in preparation for Turkey and China.

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| Last update: Tuesday, December 09, 2014.