The RELIR/OTHEA Network
RELIR is a French network standing for “Retour d’Expérience sur Les Incidents Radiologiques” (experience feedback on radiological incidents). It was created in 2001 at the initiative of the French Society for Radiation Protection in collaboration with the French national research and safety institute (INRS), the French institute for radiological protection and nuclear safety (IRSN), the Curie Institute, the French national institute for nuclear science and technology (INSTN) and CEPN (nuclear protection and evaluation centre). These institutes indeed considered that one of the most efficient processes to improve protection and thereby reduce the number and severity of radiation incidents and accidents consists in releasing and sharing experience feedback and lessons learned among all workers involved.
Since mid-2009, a specific collaboration has been implemented with HPA: the RELIR incident database is also available in English, under the name of OTHEA, goddess of prudence.
To train the RP professionals in order to prevent new incidents; to produce training aids to be used during initial or on-the-job training sessions for workers; to promote information exchanges among radiation protection specialists and non-specialists.
The RELIR network aims at collecting information about typical incidents or accidents in the industrial, medical and research sectors. The purpose is not to generate an exhaustive listing of incidents, but to select the events being most interesting in workers’ training and incident prevention. Incidents reports are all structured in the same way: circumstances of the incident, radiological consequences and a list of lessons learned.
RELIR relies on a network of radiation protection professionals, called moderators, who are all volunteers: they are the direct contacts for anyone involved or witness of an incident. CEPN and INRS jointly coordinate the French network.
More than 50 incident reports are available in French and in English in the RELIR/ OTHEA libraries. They cover different sectors: industry, medical field, research and transports.