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ICRP Initiative on the Ethics of Radiological Protection

At the October 2012 meeting of the Main Commission in Fukushima City, Japan, ICRP began efforts to examine the ethical basis of the system of radiological protection. Led by now ICRP Vice-Chair Jacques Lochard, a key feature was to work in cooperation with professionals from other organisations.

This has resulted in a series of workshops held in cooperation with ICRP and IRPA. The 1st Asian Workshop on the Ethical Dimensions of the Radiological Protection System was organized by the Korean Radiation Protection Association (KARP) in Daejeon, Korea in August 2013. The 1st European Workshop on the Ethical Dimensions of the Radiological Protection System was organized jointly by the Italian Association for Radiation Protection (AIRP) and the French Society for Radiation Protection (SFRP), and held in Milan, Italy in December 2013.

The 1st North American workshop in this series will be held in Baltimore, USA in July 2014, in cooperation with and immediately following the US Health Physics Society (HPS) Annual Meeting. Also feeding into the process will be the results from the Second International Symposium on Ethics of Environmental Health in Budweis, Czech Republic, organized by specialists in ethics in cooperation with OPERRA and with the participation of ICRP. A second round of workshops organized by radiation protection societies is envisaged later in 2014 and in 2015.

Meanwhile, ICRP Task Group 94 on Ethics of Radiological Protection was formed at the October 2013 meeting of the Main Commission in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Chaired Professor Deborah Oughton of the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, membership of this Task Group includes the lead organisers of the workshops noted above: Kun-Woo Cho of KARP, Marie-Claire Cantone of AIRP, Thierry Schneider of SFRP, Richard Toohey of HPS, and Friedo Zölzer, organiser of the Budweis symposium.  TG94 will consolidate the findings from these workshops and other sources, with the objective to have an advanced draft publication for review and discussion at the time of IRPA-14 in May 2016.