Vancouver Call for Action


ICRP has called for action worldwide to strengthen expertise in radiological protection over concerns that a shortage of investment in training, education, research, and infrastructure will compromise society’s ability to manage radiation risks. This could lead to unjustified exposure to or unwarranted fear of radiation, impacting physical, mental, and social well-being. It could also unduly limit the potential for research and development in new radiation technologies (for example, in healthcare, energy, and the environment) for beneficial purposes.

ICRP calls for action to strengthen expertise in radiological protection worldwide through:

  1. National governments and funding agencies strengthening resources for radiological protection research allocated by governments and international organisations.
  2. National research laboratories and other institutions launching and sustaining long-term research programmes.
  3. Universities developing undergraduate and graduate university programmes and making students aware of job opportunities in radiation-related fields.
  4. Using plain language when interacting with the public and decision makers about radiological protection.
  5. Fostering general awareness of proper uses of radiation and radiological protection through education and training of information multipliers.

The Call for Action was announced by ICRP Chair Werner Rühm at ICRP 2021+1, the 6th International Symposium on the System of Radiological Protection held in Vancouver, Canada. It supports several United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including “Good Health and Well-being”, “Quality Education”, “Reduced Inequalities”, “Life Below Water”, and “Life on Land”, all of which are impacted by radiological protection.

ICRP’s sole objective is to promote radiological protection worldwide. Recognising the emerging challenge, in recent years it has taken action including making its work free to access, holding biennial symposia, publishing research priorities to be considered by the international scientific community, holding open online webinars, dissemination of easy-to-read information through, and establishing a mentorship programme for university students and early-career professionals and scientists.

While these activities will be continued and expanded, ICRP is a single charity with limited resources. Action by national governments, research laboratories, universities, and other organisations is needed to meet the challenges we are facing. We hope to hear from some of these organisations at ICRP 2023 in Tokyo in November.

Read the open access paper Vancouver call for action to strengthen expertise in radiological protection worldwide.