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News paths towards the coordination of research in the field of dosimetry of ionizing radiation

06.03.2009

This new formal status of EURADOS and the independence of research programs of the European Commission associated with it, opens up new possibilities for the coordination of research activities. EURADOS has thus developed into a sustainable network which - due to a firm financial basis and the clear statutory framework - is in a position to coordinate research and to contribute to the European-wide harmonization of regulations and measuring procedures. The financial basis is provided by a great number of revenues: the direct financial support by members, subscriber’s charges for different events organized by EURADOS (meetings, training courses, comparison measurements) and the participation in third-party projects.

At present, EURADOS working groups are dealing with the following subjects:

  • Harmonization of radiation protection dosimetry in Europe
  • Dosimetry in the environment
  • Numerical dosimetry procedures
  • Dosimetry for internal irradiation
  • Radiation protection dosimetry for medical applications
  • Retrospective dosimetry
  • Dosimetry in high-energy radiation fields

Since 1999, annual EURADOS meetings have been tradition. On that occasion, internal activities (general assembly, board meeting, meetings of working groups) are connected with scientific events which attract a large number of interested persons - also outside EURADOS. From 1999 to 2004, the meetings were held at PTB. After several meetings abroad (Krakow 2005, Oxford 2006, Madrid 2007, Paris 2008), PTB was again - from January 26 to 30, 2009 - the host of experts from numerous European countries dealing with the subject "dosimetry of ionizing radiation."

The two most important components of the annual meeting 2009 were a winter school ("Low-dose radiation effects") and a workshop ("Cosmic radiation and aircrew exposure"). The two events dealt with current subjects of outstanding scientific and social importance. Among the 190 participants were not only a great number of scientists, but also representatives of European aeronautical authorities and airlines.

In the winter school, it was explained in eight lectures what we know about the radiation effect in the low-dose range and what radiobiological investigations and epidemiologic studies have contributed in this context. The lectures extended from the biological effects caused by low-dose radiation and the studies of the victims of the atomic bomb in Japan to the studies on lung cancer and the opacity of lenses to the implementation of these findings in international radiation protection regulations.

Within the scope of the workshop, about 30 lectures were held on one and a half days. They explained the basis of cosmic radiation and its effect on the radiation exposure at flight altitudes, the current state of measurements and calculations of the radiation exposure of the aircrew as well as the state of the European regulations. It became evident that aircrews are the occupational group with one of the highest radiation exposure. As a result of significant progresses made in metrology and calculations, the dose determination has, however, reached an excellent quality - not least due to the activities coordinated by EURADOS - and, at the international level, a high degree of harmonization. The agreement of different procedures within a range of 20% is especially remarkable, because at the beginning of the investigations into the radiation exposure of aircrews about 15 years ago, deviations of more than 100% had still been observed.

The lecture foils of these two events can be downloaded at www.eurados.org. In addition, the proceedings of the workshop will be published in the journal "Radiation Protection Dosimetry" which is expected to be published by the end of 2009.

Figure : The participants of the EURADOS Annual Meeting 2009 at PTB Braunschweig.