ICRP 2021+1 Proceedings

Proceedings of the Sixth International Symposium on the System of Radiological Protection

Recommended citation
Recommended citation: ICRP, 2023. Proceedings of the sixth International Symposium on the System of Radiological Protection. Ann. ICRP 52(S1), 2023.

From the Editorial As a Canadian, it was a particular pleasure for me that the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) held their Sixth International Symposium on the System of Radiological Protection in Vancouver, Canada in November 2022. In the usual course of events, these symposia are held biennially in odd-numbered years. However, is not difficult to deduce why this iteration, originally planned for 2021, was not.

Planning began relatively early, with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) agreeing to be the primary financial supporter of the symposium in early 2018. The Canadian Radiation Protection Association (CRPA) soon joined the effort as a primary host and collaborator, with plans to combine their 2021 annual meeting with the ICRP symposium. Health Canada (HC) was on board not long thereafter as another host and significant supporter.

In parallel, we were planning the ICRP International Conference on Recovery after Nuclear Accidents: Radiological Protection Lessons from Fukushima and Beyond, to be held in Fukushima Prefecture in December 2020. However, in September 2020, with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in full swing, the decision was made to hold the conference entirely online, a first for any major ICRP event. It is difficult to describe the enormous effort required by the staff of the ICRP Scientific Secretariat and Japan Atomic Energy Agency to pull this off, but it was well worth it. The conference was an enormous success, attracting more than 2500 people from over 100 countries, who enjoyed 4 days of live-streamed presentations and panel discussions, and on-demand content including video presentations, posters, exhibits, and virtual tours.

By June 2021, it was clear that it would be highly unlikely that an in-person symposium could be held in November of that year due to the continuing pandemic. Like many organising events, we faced difficult questions. In the end, the decision was made to postpone the symposium for 1 year rather than to attempt a virtual version. We knew such an event could not deliver an experience with the same depth, and would certainly not have as much local character as one held in person.

However, this left ICRP in a difficult position, as the Vancouver symposium was supposed to be the first open opportunity for the international radiological protection community to respond to ICRPs invitation to comment on plans to review and revise the System of Radiological Protection. Delaying this by 1 year, or possibly more as we did not know when in-person meetings could resume, was not an option.

Given the positive experience of the Recovery conference, we decided to hold another major online event, this time dedicated to feedback on the open-access paper that first invited the community to collaborate: Keeping the ICRP Recommendations Fit for Purpose (Clement et al., 2021). The Digital Workshop on the Future of Radiological Protection, held on 14 October3 November 2021, was another success. It consisted of 20 live-streamed and 43 on-demand presentations, with approximately 1500 participants from 100 countries. Most important was the feedbackgathered from the radiological protection community, summarised after the event (Ruhm et al., 2022), which has had a significant impact on the work of ICRP.

Nonetheless, despite concerns about the direction the pandemic might take, the Sixth International Symposium on the System of Radiological Protection finally took place in Vancouver in November 2022. To memorialise the delay and emphasise that we intend to stick to our biennial schedule, we dubbed the event ICRP. The mood was almost electric, unlike any other conference I have attended, with many people meeting colleagues for the first time in several years, and some meeting co-workers they had only ever seen before on computer screens. It was a great experience, and strongly reinforced the value of meeting together in person. More than 400 people from 44 countries participated in person, with the total registration, including remote participants, approaching 500 people from 63 countries. Somewhat surprisingly, despite lingering travel concerns related to COVID-19, and some difficulties with travel visas, the number of in-person participants was comparable to that at previous ICRP symposia, with the bonus of engaging with many others who could not attend in person.

As planned, the Vancouver symposium played a major role in advancing the review and revision of the System of Radiological Protection, with the added benefit of being able to build on some of the feedback from the Digital Workshop on the Future of Radiological Protection held 1 year prior. There were 15 sessions (one in two parts) and three excellent keynote speakers. Many of the sessions related directly to specific topics within radiological protection, such as dosimetry, effects, ethics, and optimisation of protection, while others addressed broader subjects such as emerging domains of radiological protection, involving young professionals, and learning from experience.

This issue begins with a paper by Haruyuki Ogino, the belated awardee of the 2021 Bo Lindell Medal for the Promotion of Radiological Protection, based on the Bo Lindell Lecture he gave during the opening session. Next is the paper authored by Luana Hafner, the first winner of the Cousins Award for Young Scientists and Professionals. The remainder, and bulk, of this volume consists of the 195 abstracts accepted for the live, pre-recorded video, and poster presentations. In addition, the 50 papers submitted by presenters to accompany their presentations are freely available in an electronic annex. Each of these papers should be referenced as part of theseProceedings, and they are also available separately online through individual DOIs.As always, but perhaps more so this time, many deserve thanks for the (eventual) success of this symposium. It is impossible to list everyone, but let me start with the hosts: CRPA, CNSC, and HC. All three organisations worked with ICRP on every aspect of the event. Jeff Dovyak of CRPA chaired the Joint Organising Committee, and representatives of all three organisations, and Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, were on the Joint Programme Committee which I chaired.

CNSC and HC were also major financial sponsors of the event, along with other supporters including Bruce Power (Platinum Sponsors); Atomic Energy of Canada Limited and Ontario Power Generation (Silver Sponsors); Cameco, US Environmental Protection Agency, and Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (Bronze Sponsors); and Radiation Safety Institute of Canada, British Columbia Institute of Technology, Canadian Nuclear Workers Council, BWX Technologies, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the French Centre for Studies on the Evaluation of Protection in the Nuclear Field.

The event was also made possible by organisations providing ongoing regular support to ICRP, without repeating those acknowledged above: the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety; the UAE Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation; Japan NUS Co. Ltd; the European Commission; and many others. All are recognised on the ICRP website.

Exceptionally, ICRP 2023, the Seventh International Symposium on the System of Radiological Protection, will take place almost exactly 1 year after ICRP 2021+1. It will be held in Tokyo, Japan on 69 November 2023. Arranging two symposia separated by such a short time is another challenge, but ICRP is up to it. The theme is The Evolution of Radiological Protection: Science and Beyond, signifying that it will also support the review and revision of the System of Radiological Protection. Eighteen technical sessions are planned, some relatively broad, but many are focused tightly on elements of the System of Radiological Protection which are now, or soon will be, under review. We expect another excellent turnout, both in-person and online. Most importantly, the event will be an important step on the path towards the General Recommendations that will underpin radiological protection standards, legislation, and practice worldwide for the next generation. I hope to see you there!