Contrôle review n°170 - International radiation protection : the national authorities of radiation protection (abstracts)
Since 2002, the Nuclear Safety Authority ASN has been in charge of the control of nuclear safety and radiation protection in France. The extension of our responsibilities to the field of radiation protection led us to enlarge exchanges with our international counterparts and with the international organisations of radiation protection. In October 2005, in the issue n° 167 of Contrôle dedicated to the international actors in radiation protection (ICRU, UNSCEAR, ICRP, AIEA…), we observed an international relative consensus on the basic concepts of radiation protection although these organisations act quite often independently of each other. But we also observed major differences in the implementation of the international recommendations in radiation protection. In order to progress rigorously and objectively in the direction of a necessary harmonization of radiation protection at the international level, I found it useful to give the floor to the Heads of the national authorities of radiation protection in the world. When requesting their contributions, I drew the attention of my colleagues to what I believe to be the major issues of our actions : the role of national authorities in the drawing up of international standards of radiation protection, the independence of control, the interface between nuclear safety and radiation protection, the international harmonization of practices of control and especially the harmonization of the training of radiation protection inspectors. The transparency regarding the control, the credibility of controllers and the justification of some practices with exposure to ionising radiations were also proposed as subjects requiring reflection. Many colleagues responded positively to my request. Their contributions to the document show their interest in the debate. The debate has now opened and the document will also be published in English in order to facilitate the discussion. For my part, I feel it necessary to make the international cooperation of national authorities in radiation protection one of the highest priorities of ASN. I am indeed convinced that an international association of the different Heads of the national authorities of radiation protection would enhance and structure the debate for the benefit of radiation protection.