European ALARA Network (EAN)
ALARA is the abbreviation of the words "as low as reasonably achievable" in relation to regulation of the exposure of the population. In other words: it deals with optimization of radiation protection.
Since 1980 the ALARA principle has been part of the European Basic Safety Standards and has been progressively introduced into the national regulations. In 96-29 the ALARA Euratom Directive was re-emphasised as a cornerstone of the radiological protection system. Throughout the 80s and early 90s ALARA was integrated into many organisations and the radiation protection programmes, particularly in the nuclear industry. Therefore in 1996 the European Commission created the European ALARA Network to support further specific European research on topics dealing with optimization of all types of occupational exposure, as well as to facilitate the dissemination of ALARA best practices within all sectors of the European industry and research. The main goals of the Network are - to publish two issues of European ALARA Newsletter and to arrange the ALARA Workshop yearly.
The Newsletter intends to reflect some major aspects of the ALARA life in Europe: evolution of regulations and judicial precedents, results of research, description of existing databases, analyses of dosimetric data, authorities and utilities of ALARA programmes, lessons learnt from incidents, and recommendations to EC coming from the panel sessions of the EAN Workshops. Each issue includes one or two feature articles, as well as experts' viewpoints and ALARA information.
The ALARA Newsletter provides a link between all those concerned with ALARA, mainly the health physicists, but also the managers, the radiation protection organisations, the research bodies, the regulatory bodies, the trade union representatives and the medical doctors.
Many participants consider the Newsletter as a very useful tool of sharing experience of different countries, both in the nuclear and non-nuclear fields.
A feedback experience shows that there is in Europe a need for Workshops which are neither a big congress nor a collection of working groups with lots of different meetings, but which over a few days provide a forum for a few dozen experts to exchange the feedback experience and to identify problems that need further research or development. Therefore the Network organises such type of Workshop once a year. The subject is selected in order to cover domains where many improvements in terms of ALARA implementation may be found. Each Workshop gives rise to a set of recommendations to the European Commission and to the National regulatory bodies in order to facilitate the practical implementation of ALARA. These recommendations are validated by the Network Steering Committee Group and send to the Commission.
Currently, fourteen countries are represented in the European ALARA Network Steering Group (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK), co-ordinated by the Centre d'Etudes pour l'Evaluation de la Protection dans le domaine Nucléaire (CEPN).
Contact Persons for Czech Republic:
P. Rulik, SURO, National Radiation Protection Institute
Bartoskova 28, 140 00 Praha 10