In Memoriam: John Dunster


by HPS staff

The British and international radiation protection communities lost a pioneer with the passing of John Dunster on Sunday, 23 April 2006, at the age of 83. John had served as deputy director general and director of nuclear safety of the U.K. Health and Safety Executive and later was director of the National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB) for five years.

On the international front, he had been a member of the Scientific and Technical Committee of Euratom and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency's Scientific Advisory Committee, and he served on the International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurements (ICRU). John was also the U.K. representative to the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) for 10 years.

Apart from his passion for the NRPB and its independence, John was passionate about the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP). He first became a member of Committee V (which was responsible for "handling of radioactive isotopes and disposal of radioactive waste") in 1959 and in 1962 became a member of the restructured Committee 4 (on the "application of the Commission's recommendations"), where he served until 1977. John joined the Main Commission in 1977. John, together with Dan Beninson and Bo Lindell, came to dominate the development of radiological protection philosophy. The result was the 1990 Recommendations in Publication 60, of which John was the principal author.

The ICRP has also recognized John's passing on its website.