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ICRP Joins RERF for Meetings in Hiroshima, Workshop and Press Meet in Tokyo

Entrance to University of Tokyo: “Akamon” (or, “Red Gate”), which was constructed in 1827

Dr. Cullings gives presentation about DSO2R1 before 81 workshop participants at University of Tokyo

At the end of November, representatives of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) visited Hiroshima and Tokyo over a period of several days for meetings, a workshop, and a press gathering.

On November 30, 2017, RERF held a joint meeting at its laboratory in Hiroshima together with ICRP, a body established in 1928 that works to develop guidelines for protection of the public and the environment from various radiation exposures involving nuclear power, medicine, and air flight/space exploration, as well as natural background radiation. The full-day meeting discussed a wide range of topics related to calculations of radiation doses atomic bomb survivors received to various organs of the body, which differed depending on the depth of the organ in the body, as well as the survivor’s sex, age, posture, and orientation to the blast at the time of the bombing.

The group traveled to the University of Tokyo campus to hold, on December 2, 2017, the “Joint ICRP-RERF-JHPS (Japan Health Physics Society) Workshop on Recent Progress in Radiation Dosimetry for Epidemiology and Radiological Protection.” The venue was moved to Tokyo from Hiroshima to accommodate the many radiation-protection and health-physics specialists in Tokyo, given the importance of the end-users of RERF data such as ICRP and JHPS, and to draw a larger audience in general for the event. The Japanese Society of Radiation Safety Management (JRSM), along with JHPS, co-organized the workshop event.

At the workshop, 81 attendees listened to six speakers introduce concepts such as use of phantoms to model human beings for estimates of radiation doses in difficult-to-quantify exposure situations, and external doses to the public from contaminated land, specifically Fukushima. Dr. Harry M. Cullings, Chief, Statistics Dept., RERF, spoke on the new DS02R1 dose estimates in use for RERF’s latest Life Span Studies (LSS).

Dr. Kai (JHPS/ICRP; at left) fields a question from the media on the University of Tokyo campus, as Dr. Cullings (RERF; center) and Dr. Harrison (ICRP) look on, with interpreter (far right)

In the press meeting held after the workshop, attending media had a chance to engage in informal discussions with Dr. Michiaki Kai (JHPS/ICRP), co-chair of the workshop’s scientific session and the organizer of the workshop; Dr. John Harrison (ICRP), the other co-chair of the workshop; and Dr. Cullings (RERF). Many of the questions involved the DS02R1 revisions, whereas others related to estimates of local radioactive fallout and soils made radioactive with bombardment by neutrons from the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.