Topic Areas & Descriptions

MA1: Underpinning Sciences

Basic sciences of biology, chemistry and epidemiology form the scientific foundation of the systems of ionizing and non-ionizing radiation protection. They underlie most of the other MAs in this Congress. New technologies provide opportunities for advancing science and practice in radiation protection.

MA1 covers advances in biological studies on mechanisms of damage from ionizing and non-ionizing radiations, new knowledge in epidemiology of cancer and non-cancer normal tissue effects from exposure to radiation (occupational, environmental, and medical exposures) including at low doses and low dose-rates, and the integration of biology and epidemiology to inform risk assessment. While MA5 addresses the practical aspects of radiation protection in healthcare, basic research related to radiation protection in medicine, including pregnancy and pediatric implications, characterization of tissue reactions, and radiation epidemiology for patient populations, will be covered under MA1. Abstracts for MA1 may focus on any of these topics.

Topics in MA1 include:

  • 1.1 Mechanisms of damage underlying biological responses to ionizing and non-ionizing radiations
  • 1.2 Latest cancer epidemiology studies on occupational, environmental, and medical exposures to ionizing radiation
  • 1.3 Latest epidemiological and experimental findings on risk of non-cancer normal tissue effects at low doses and low dose rates
  • 1.4 Integration of biology and epidemiology to inform risk assessment
  • 1.5 Space radiation biology, effects, and risks
  • 1.6 Use of artificial intelligence, machine learning, large datasets, and radio genomics in radiation protection
  • 1.7 Effects on non-human biota
  • 1.8 Basic research in radiation protection in medicine

MA2: The Systems of Protection for Ionizing and Non-ionizing Radiation

The system of ionizing radiation protection is undergoing a major review, with an aim to update ICRP’s general recommendations of 2007. ICRP is evaluating feedback and suggestions on the current recommendations from practitioners and standard setting organizations, reviewing the overall system of protection as well as some specific aspects such as the classification of radiation effects and the grouping of exposure situations. At the same time, there are major developments in the system of protection against non-ionizing radiation developed by ICNIRP.

MA2 is an opportunity to influence the future of radiation protection by exploring the main objectives and principles of radiation protection today and what they could be in the future; the roles that science, judgement, and experience play in developing protection recommendations; and similarities, differences, and evolving protection approaches for ionizing and non-ionizing radiation. Abstracts for MA2 may focus on any aspect of radiation protection principles and concepts, the process of reviewing and revising recommendations, and their impact.

Topics in MA2 include:

  • 2.1 Protection against ionizing and non-ionizing radiation – similarities, differences, and the future
  • 2.2 Objectives and principles of protection
  • 2.3 Science, values and judgements, and recommendations
  • 2.4 Challenges with the practical application of the system of protection

MA3: Communication, Stakeholder Involvement, Education and Training

The systems of radiological protection build on not only science and experience, but also social values. During the implementation of the systems of protection, ethical values should be addressed, stakeholders should be engaged, and economic and societal aspects should be considered. In addition, effective communication of radiation risks has been a well-recognized challenge.

MA3 addresses stakeholder involvement and co-expertise approaches including experiences learned in the past and consideration of societal and economic implications, as well as ethical dimensions of reasonableness and tolerability, in decision-making related to radiation protection. Communication of radiation risks to workers, the public and patients needs to address the challenges and opportunities as well as the concern of stakeholders, focusing on increasing clarity and timeliness while contributing to improve the common understanding and to reduce fear and anxiety. Development of radiological protection culture in the healthcare profession, training the next generation of radiation professionals and competency building taking advantage of using new technologies (e.g. e-learning, augmented reality) will also be covered. Abstracts for MA3 may cover any of these topics or a combination.

Topics in MA3 include:

  • 3.1 Risk perception and communication
  • 3.2 Stakeholder participation
  • 3.3 Societal and economic issues
  • 3.4 Ethical issues including gender perspective
  • 3.5 Radiological protection culture
  • 3.6 Education and training
  • 3.7 Knowledge management and knowledge transfer
  • 3.8 Experience from radiation protection societies

MA4: Dosimetry and Measurements

The ICRU system of radiation quantities and units is the basis for dosimetry and measurements. To characterize radiation risks, very often, it is required first to measure the radiation involved and to assess the dose from the exposure.

Techniques, standards and regulations are developed and implemented on measurement and dosimetry for both external and internal exposure. Biological dosimetry (biomarkers) can be an important tool in the assessment of exposures from radiation resulting from accidents and emergencies. Computational dosimetry, with advanced phantoms and simulation tools, has wide applications spanning from shielding design to the assessment of organ equivalent dose or effective dose for individuals of different characteristics. When dealing with radioactive discharges or with contamination after accidents, there is a need to characterize environmental contamination and to assess exposures to non-human biota. Adequate laboratories for calibration of measurement instruments and definition of measurement standards are required and should be available to ensure quality in radiation measurements. Abstracts for MA4 may cover any of these topics, especially on innovations in measurements and dosimetry methodologies.

Topics in MA4 include:

  • 4.1 Standards and regulations
  • 4.2 External exposure characterization
  • 4.3 Internal exposure assessment
  • 4.4 Biological dosimetry and biomarkers of exposure
  • 4.5 Numerical and computational dosimetry
  • 4.6 Environmental dosimetry, monitoring and modelling
  • 4.7 Space radiation dosimetry
  • 4.8 Experience from radiation protection societies
  • 4.9 Numerical and computational retrospective dosimetry
  • 4.10 Contamination characterization

MA5: Radiation Protection in Healthcare

Over the past decades, applications of radiation in medicine have advanced. While the benefits of using radiation technologies in healthcare are clear, protection of the patients and healthcare workers needs to be improved and optimized (Bonn Call for Action, 2012).

MA5 addresses all topics on the practical aspects of radiation protection in healthcare, ranging from standards and regulations, justification, optimization and ethical considerations of radiation protection and safety in medicine for the protection of both patients and healthcare workers, to radiation protection in specific diagnostic and therapeutic procedures (e.g., CT, SPECT/CT, PET/CT, MRI, X-ray, mammography, molecular imaging, interventional radiology/cardiology, radiation therapy using external beam, nuclear medicine, brachytherapy, novel and developing therapeutic advances), including of the use of AI. Abstracts for MA5 may address any of these topics.

Topics in MA5 include:

  • 5.1 Standards and regulations
  • 5.2 Justification, optimization of protection and safety in medicine
  • 5.3 Radiation benefit-risk dialogue
  • 5.4 Diagnostic imaging and interventional radiology
  • 5.5 Radiation therapy
  • 5.6 Safety culture, including quality assurance, patient safety, and prevention of medical radiation incidents
  • 5.7 Radiation protection of health professionals
  • 5.8 Healthcare radiation protection training and education
  • 5.9 Medical treatment after overexposure

MA6: Radiation Protection in Nuclear Power and Fuel Cycle Industries

Nuclear power has played an important role in providing electricity to society and addressing challenges associated with climate change. In nuclear power generation and fuel cycle industries, workers are subject to occupational exposure. In addition, activities from these industries may also lead to concerns over radiation exposure to the public and contamination to the environment.

MA6 addresses national and international legal aspects, regulations, and standards as well as experience in managing radiation safety and radiation protection issues; challenges in radiation protection associated with the development and operation of new reactor types such as small modular reactors (SMR), fusion reactors, floating reactors, and of new type of fuels (e.g. thorium); optimization as well as research and innovations (e.g., using virtual reality) on radiation protection in these industries. Abstracts for MA6 may cover any of these topics or a combination.

Topics in MA6 include:

  • 6.1 Legal aspects, regulations and standards
  • 6.2 Radiation protection in nuclear fuel cycle industries
  • 6.3 Radiation protection in nuclear power generation
  • 6.4 Radiation protection in transport of nuclear and radioactive materials
  • 6.5 Protection of the public and the environment
  • 6.6 New technologies

MA7: Radiation Protection in Practices

Radiation technologies have been widely used in industry, agriculture, veterinary medicine and the military. The use of radiation and associated technologies and materials in these practices needs to be safeguarded and optimized.

MA7 addresses protection practices in a wide range of applications: industrial applications covering non-destructive testing/radiography, gauging devices, well logging, radiation sterilization, and security screening; veterinary applications in diagnostic and treatment procedures; and applications in agriculture and the military. In addition, radiation protection associated with air and space travels will also be covered. Abstracts addressing any of these applications, on justification and optimization, practices, innovations, new technologies, and research and development in applications/practices are welcome for MA7.Transport within these practices that might imply small amounts of radioactive material is also a topic of this main area.

Topics in MA7 include:

  • 7.1 Standards, directives, and regulations
  • 7.2 Industrial and agricultural applications
  • 7.3 Veterinary applications
  • 7.4 Aerospace practicalities
  • 7.5 Military applications
  • 7.6 Safety and security of radioactive sources

MA8: Radiation Protection in NIR Applications

Non-ionizing radiation (NIR) has wide applications in industry, healthcare and our daily life. Adequate protection from exposure to NIR must be considered, evaluated and optimized.

MA8 covers radiation protection in a wide range of NIR applications: in the area of electromagnetic radiation, from power transmission to 5G mobile application, electromobility, and radar systems; in the field of optical radiation, such as UV, infrared, LEDs, data transmission, laser radiation, and various applications for medical and wellness purposes. Abstracts for MA8 may cover any of these applications, on measurement, innovation, exposure of public and workers including protection and regulations, ethics and justification, training, and education.

Topics in MA8 include:

  • 8.1 Standards and regulations
  • 8.2 Electromagnetic and static fields
  • 8.3 Optical radiation (ultraviolet, visible and infrared) and laser radiation
  • 8.4 Ultrasound and infrasound

MA9: Nuclear and Radiological Emergencies

Past radiological accidents and nuclear emergencies demonstrated significant challenges in the protection of emergency workers, responders, recovery workers, the public and the environment. Knowledge and experience on preparedness for, response to and recovery from nuclear and radiological emergencies are valuable to share among the radiation protection community.

MA9 addresses topics on national and international standards, regulations, guidelines and recommendations related to the management of nuclear and radiological emergencies; dose assessment, health consequence assessment and protective actions for workers and the public, focusing on experiences gained in the management of past accidents such as Chernobyl and Fukushima accidents; methodologies and protocols for emergency exposure assessment and population monitoring, excluding biological and retrospective dosimetry that is included in MA4; development of capabilities and capacity for response to nuclear and radiological emergencies including international cooperation, networks of experts, education and training; and exchange of information on incident and accident reporting systems among different countries. Abstracts for MA9 may address any of these topics or a combination.

Topics in MA9 include:

  • 9.1 Standards and regulations
  • 9.2 Dose assessment, health consequences and protective actions: lessons from major accidents
  • 9.3 Methodologies for emergency exposure assessment and population monitoring
  • 9.4 Capacity development
  • 9.5 Incident and accident reporting systems
  • 9.6 Recovery and remediation activities
  • 9.7 Management of RP in geopolitical context and Covid-19 pandemic
  • 9.8 Management of ethical aspects and communication in an emergency

MA10: Radioactive Waste Management in Nuclear, Medical and Industrial Facilities

Radioactive waste is generated in most activities involving the production or use of radioactive materials. Such waste needs to be safely managed. The volume and radioactive content vary widely and require commensurate protection measures.

MA10 covers topics on the safety requirements for management and disposal of all radioactive waste types and current challenges; waste types arising from decommissioning and the experience gained in their management; management of radioactive waste containing naturally occurring radionuclides and the challenges associated with high volumes of such waste and long half-lives of the radionuclides involved; operational management of radioactive waste from its identification and characterization, its treatment and conditioning through to its storage, transport and disposal; disposal of radioactive waste including near surface and underground disposal and specific considerations in the development of geological disposal facilities for high-level radioactive waste; and the legal and regulatory framework for the management of radioactive waste considering the international dimensions addressed by treaties as well as regional and national arrangements. Abstracts for MA10 may address any of these topics.

Topics in MA10 include:

  • 10.1 Standards and regulations
  • 10.2 Decommissioning including remediation activities
  • 10.3 Impacts of NORM wastes (tailing and residues)
  • 10.4 Operational management including storage and recycling
  • 10.5 Disposal
  • 10.6 Legal and regulatory aspects

MA11: Radon and Naturally Occurring Radiation

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Exposure to radon may occur at the workplace or at home. Naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) pose a significant challenge in the management of related exposure to humans and contamination to the environment.

MA11 addresses a range of topics on standards and regulations, impact assessments methodologies and capabilities, transport of materials containing NORM and emerging issues in NORM. Of interest will be presentations and discussions regarding the recovery, use and re-use of materials containing NORM, particularly in relation to wastes and residues. MA11 also considers radon and thoron issues in workplace and in the wider environment, in both planned and existing exposure situations, and including dose conversion factors. Abstracts for MA11 may cover any of these topics, or exposure and protection from natural background radiation.

Topics in MA11 include:

  • 11.1 Legal aspects, standards and regulations
  • 11.2 Radon: practice and research
  • 11.3 NORM and natural background radiation
  • 11.4 NORM impact assessment
  • 11.5 Use, recovery and re-use of materials containing NORM
  • 11.6 National capabilities for assessment of impacts of NORM
  • 11.7 Transport of materials containing NORM
  • 11.8 Emerging industries or areas with NORM