ARPANSA is inviting submissions on the draft Guide for Radiation Protection in Existing Exposure Situations (Existing Exposure Guide).
The purpose of this Guide is to provide best practice guidance on protection of occupationally exposed persons, the public and the environment from the harmful effects of ionising radiation in existing exposure situations.
Radioactive material is found naturally in the air we breathe, the food we eat and the water we drink. Humans also receive radiation exposure from naturally occurring radionuclides and from cosmic radiation from space. The population is also exposed to radiation resulting from releases to the environment of radioactive materials from human practices. For example exposure to radiation can continue long after a radiological or nuclear accident has occurred. These types of exposures may result in an 'existing exposure situation'.
Existing exposure situations are exposure situations that already exist when a decision on control has to be taken, including prolonged exposure situations after emergencies.
There is recent international guidance and requirements relevant to the protection of the public and workers for existing exposure situations that allow a graded approach to optimise protection of exposed individuals. There are many types of existing exposure situations in Australia that may represent a risk to health to people and the environment. Examples include:
ARPANSA and the Radiation Health Committee have developed guidance based on international best practice when considering the approach to take regarding existing exposure situations. The guide provides the following:
Comments are also invited on the future concepts for supporting information to accompany the Existing Exposure Guide.
The Guide for Radiation Protection in Existing Exposure Situations (Radiation Protection Series G-2) was published on 13 September 2017.
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