The IAEA Action Plan on the Safety of Radiation Sources and Security of Radioactive Material

Author

J .G. Yusko

Abstract

The use of radiation sources and radioactive material is well established throughout the world and brings substantial benefits to society when used in a safe and controlled manner. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in addition to facilitating the transference of technology that utilizes the constructive properties of ionizing radiation, has a statutory function to establish international standards of safety and to provide for their application. Even though many governments have endorsed these international standards, the large number of radiological accidents that have been reported worldwide implies that numerous radiation sources are not managed or regulated appropriately. Global awareness of the magnitude and seriousness of the problem was raised in 1998 at the first international conference on the "Safety of Radiation Sources and the Security of Radioactive Material' held in Dijon, France, 14-18 September. The findings of the Dijon Conference were noted with interest by IAEA Member States at the General Conference later the same month. Following a report to the Board of Governors, the IAEA Secretariat was requested to prepare and implement an Action Plan on the "Safety of Radiation Sources and the Security of Radioactive Material." The IAEA Action Plan is described in the paper. It not only calls for strengthening the existing systems for safety and security, but also develops new initiatives concerning regulatory infrastructures; management of disuses sources; categorization of sources; response to abnormal events; information exchange; education and training; and international undertakings.

Meeting

This abstract was presented at the 34th Annual Midyear Meeting, "Radiation Safety and ALARA Considerations for the 21st Century", Orphan Source Session, 2/4/2001 - 2/7/2001, held in Anaheim, CA.

 
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