Task Group 115
Risk and Dose Assessment for Radiological Protection of Astronauts

A Task Group under Committee 1


Aspects of radiological protection of astronauts in space have been addressed by ICRP in Publication 123 Assessment of Radiation Exposure of Astronauts in Space, published in 2013. This publication focused on the challenges in dosimetry related to the radiation fields in space which differ from those on Earth. It covered the radiation environment in space, quantities used in radiological protection, methods of measurement, radiation fields inside spacecraft and on planetary surfaces, radiation fields and doses in the human body, and a short section on operational radiological protection.

Currently, the various space agencies involved in human spaceflight use a variety of methods to assess dose and risk to their astronauts, and a variety of risk and dose protection quantities and restrictions. In 2018, agencies involved in the International Space Station (Canadian Space Agency, European Space Agency, Federal Space Agency of the Russian Federation, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration) proposed collaboration with ICRP to examine effects which may impact crew health and mission success, and to develop a common health risk assessment framework and recommendations on exposure limits for exploration-class human spaceflight missions.

The current Task Group will build on the work in Publication 123, to develop a comprehensive framework for risk and dose assessment for radiological protection of astronauts, which might also be of relevance for space tourism. This will include: a set of basic objectives; a review of the current understanding of effects and risks from space radiation; a broadly-applicable risk and dose assessment methodology (noting that dose assessment has already been addressed in Publication 123); and, an assessment of the use of risk as a radiological protection quantity.



ICRP 2023 Poster


Members of the Task Group have published a number of papers during the development of the work:

Shavers, M., Semones, E., Tomi, L., et al. (2023) Space agency-specific standards for crew dose and risk assessment of ionising radiation exposures for the International Space StationZ Med Phys. DOI 10.1016/j.zemedi.2023.06.005

Ulanowski, A., Ban, N., Ozasa, K., et al. (2023) Time-integrated radiation risk metrics and interpopulation variability of survival. Z Med Phys. DOI 10.1016/j.zemedi.2023.08.002

Shavers, M.R., Semones, E.J., Shurshakov, V., et al. (2023) Comparison of dose and risk estimates between ISS Partner Agencies for a 30-day Lunar Mission. Z Med Phys. DOI 10.1016/j.zemedi.2023.10.005

Rühm, W., Ban, N., Chen, J., et al. (2024) System of radiological protection: Towards a consistent framework on Earth and in spaceZ Med Phys. DOI 10.1016/j.zemedi.2024.01.004

Werner Rhm (Chair), Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS), Germany
Chunsheng Li (Secretary), Health Canada, Canada
Nobuhiko Ban (Member), Nuclear Regulation Authority, Japan
Marco Durante (Member), Germany
Tatsuto Komiyama (Member), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Japan
Kotaro Ozasa (Member), Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Japan
Tatsuhiko Sato (Member), Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), Japan
Edward Semones (Member), USA
Mark Shavers (Member), NASA, USA
Vyacheslav Shurshakov (Member), Russian Federation
Ulrich Straube (Member), European Space Agency , Germany
Leena Tomi (Member), Canadian Space Agency , Canada
Alexander Ulanowski (Member), International Atomic Energy Agency, Austria
Ludovic Vaillant (Member), CEPN, France
Zhenhua Xu (Member), State Nuclear Security Technology Center (retired), China