Good  4 3 2 1 0  Poor

Environmental Assessment


Preamble - Radioactivity and ionizing radiation are natural phenomena and features of the environment. Radiation and radioactive material may also be of artificial origin. Both natural and artificial radioactive materials are broadly used in medicine, industry, agriculture and research as well as in energy sector. Such facilities and activities generate a variety of radioactive gaseous and liquid residues which need to be managed in a safe manner. In some situations members of the public might be exposed to radiation and the environment might be contaminated. The exposure arises from the release and subsequent spreading of radionuclides in the environment and from the direct emission of radiation from facilities.

The radioactive releases to the environment and the direct emission of radiation should be strictly controlled to ensure that the public and the environment are protected from harmful effects of ionizing radiation.

Radionuclide releases can also affect people and the environment outside the state in which the discharging facility is located – for this reason a number of legally binding international treaties addressing these issues have been ratified. In a global and long term perspective, the protection of the public and the environment is important for the well-being of present and future generations and for equitable and sustainable development.

The IAEA places a special emphasis on the protection of the public and the environment and addresses these issues through its activities in the following areas:


Documents under development in 2011-2013

  • Draft Safety Standards DS442 "Regulatory Control of Public Exposure and Radiological Environmental Impact from Discharges"
  • Draft Safety Standards DS427 “Radiological Environmental Impact Assessment for Facilities and Activities”
  • Draft Safety Standards DS432 “Radiation Protection of the Public and the Environment”
  • Revised Safety Report Series 19 "Generic Models for Use in Assessing the Impact of Discharges of Radioactive Substances to the Environment"
  • Technical Report Series “Environmental Behaviour of Radium”
  • Technical Report Series “Environmental Behaviour of Polonium”

Activities in 2011-2013


Further Reading

IAEA Safety Standards and supporting documents

International treaties

Documents of UN and other International Organizations

Email us For further information please contact

| Last update: Tuesday, 09 December, 2014.