HPA Updates Radiation Exposure Guidance

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

Scientists at the Health Protection Agency have published their advice to UK bodies following new international guidance on ionising radiation.

The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) published updated recommendations on protection against ionising radiation in 2007. The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has now published its advice on applying those recommendations.

Broadly the HPA has welcomed the ICRP's recommendations and says that much of the advice is already being applied in the UK.


After reviewing ICRP guidance, the HPA recommends that the Government tightens control of public radiation exposure at any new build nuclear power stations or radioactive waste disposal sites to a level of less than 0.15 millisieverts (mSv) a year. The average annual dose that a person receives from natural ionising radiation is 2.2 mSv a year.

Part of the ICRP report looks at management of, and responses to, radiation emergencies. The HPA has concluded the ICRP's guidance is helpful and is calling on all appropriate bodies to review their plans on how the aftermath of an incident could be managed.

Dr John Cooper, Director of the HPA's Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards, said: "ICRP's recommendations have resulted from extensive international consultation, and in the UK we have also carried out an open consultation.

"Mostly there is no need to change UK regulations and procedures, but when these are reviewed in the future, the new recommendations should be implemented as described in our advice".