Submission to ARPANSA’s proposed Safety Guide for Radiation Protection of the Environment

Australia’s system for managing radiation risks from ionising radiation is closely aligned with international best practice as laid out by the ICRP, the IAEA and in relevant Conventions to which Australia is a party. Following the publication of the Fundamentals for Protection Against Ionising Radiation (2014), the Australian system now includes recommendations for demonstrating protection of the environment.  Up until the publication of ICRP 103 (ICRP, 2007) the recommended radiation protection framework was designed for the purposes of protecting humans from exposures to ionising radiation, with the implicit assumption that if humans were adequately protected, an adequate level of protection for wildlife would also be provided. With increased awareness of the potential impact that human activities can have on the environment, society has come to expect a better understanding of the possible radiological harm to the environment. These expectations have included that radiation protection of the environment is clearly demonstrated. The proposed Safety Guide outlines the environmental protection framework and practical aspects of the assessment process through which protection could be demonstrated.

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