Developing quality assessment capabilities to enable comprehensive radiation protection in Europe
Radiation protection legislation has been overhauled to better protect European citizens. A revision of the EURATOM Directive broadened its scope to cover all radiation sources and categories of exposure. Occupational, medical, public and environmental risks are now all included, partly in response to lessons learned from the Fukushima nuclear accident. Radiation protection measurement (dosimetry) will need to become more responsive to changing needs, by supporting new technologies such as pulsed doses in nuclear medicine, more harmonised worker protection measures, and digitalisation trends. As there is no comprehensive facility capable of supporting all these requirements, a European Metrology Network for reliable radiation protection regulation is being considered, to help introduce a legally enforceable European quality assurance system.
The project will formulate a defining scope and organisational basis for a network. After engaging with stakeholders, it will produce a research agenda designed to ensure that suitable reference fields and standards can be developed to support radiation protection regulations. Knowledge-sharing requirements and input to international standards will also be addressed. Facilities established by the project will support quality assessment in all radiation protection issues. On completion of the project, a network could be called upon to support the development of more harmonised procedures and capabilities in service provision and research, so the quality of radiation protection dosimetry can support better radiation protection measures for all European citizens.
An overview of the project was published in March 2021. In addition, an initial plan for ensuring the sustainability and collaborative nature of the European Metrology Network for Radiation Protection has been developed.