Why an effective national regulatory infrastructure is essential for a country's radiation protection system

Abstract of a technical paper presented at:
13th International Congress of the International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA13: Living with Radiation – Engaging with Society). Technical Session TS3c: RP System: Regulation
Glasgow, United Kingdom
May 13–18, 2012

Prepared by:

Dariusz Mroz*; Eric Reber; Hazem Suman; Ibrahim Shadad; Teodros Hailu; Hilaire Mansoux – International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna, Austria
*D. Mroz, an employee of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, posted as an IAEA staff member at the time of this publication


Regulatory control over all activities that may cause radiation hazards is essential to ensuring that people and the environment are protected from the harmful effects of ionizing radiation. Adequate regulatory control can only be achieved through the establishment of state, legal and regulatory frameworks for safety. The IAEA Safety Standards establish fundamental safety principles, requirements and guidance to assist states in building this framework. This paper elaborates the importance of establishing a national regulatory infrastructure for the control of sources and for radiation protection. A discussion is presented as to how the quality and robustness of a national regulatory framework affects the national radiation safety system. The impact of essential elements such as legislation, regulations, regulatory guidance documents, as well as the independence, adequate funding, staffing and training of a national regulatory body on radiation protection and safety is discussed. Regulatory activities such as authorization, inspections, enforcement and maintenance of safety-related records, contribute to ensuring the protection of people and the environment. An overview is presented of the IAEA role in strengthening radiation safety regulatory infrastructures worldwide.

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