Radiation Standards Organizations

National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) - www.ncrponline.org

The NCRP is a national consensus standards organization that is comprised of the top scientists across the United States who meet and develop recommendations that should be practiced by those who use radiation.

The NCRP Web site states its objectives as the following:

  1. to collect, analyze, develop and disseminate in the public interest information and recommendations about (a) protection against radiation (referred to herein as radiation protection) and (b) radiation measurements, quantities and units, particularly those concerned with radiation protection;
  2. to provide a means by which organizations concerned with the scientific and related aspects of radiation protection and of radiation quantities, units and measurements may cooperate for effective utilization of their combined resources, and to stimulate the work of such organizations;
  3. to develop basic concepts about radiation quantities, units and measurements, about the application of these concepts, and about radiation protection;
  4. to cooperate with the International Commission on Radiological Protection, the Federal Radiation Council, the International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurements, and other national and international organizations, governmental and private, concerned with radiation quantities, units and measurements and with radiation protection.

International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) - www.icrp.org

The ICRP is an international consensus standards organization that develops recommendations and guidance on radiation protection for societal benefits. ICRP’s radiation protection recommendations are often used by organizations and regulators to update their operating procedures and rules.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) - www.iaea.org

The IAEA, in conjunction with various countries, promotes safe, secure, and peaceful nuclear technologies. According to the objectives found on the IAEA Web site:

The Agency is authorized:

  1. To encourage and assist research on, and development and practical application of, atomic energy for peaceful uses throughout the world; and, if requested to do so, to act as an intermediary for the purposes of securing the performance of services or the supplying of materials, equipment, or facilities by one member of the Agency for another; and to perform any operation or service useful in research on, or development or practical application of, atomic energy for peaceful purposes;
  2. To make provision, in accordance with this Statute, for materials, services, equipment, and facilities to meet the needs of research on, and development and practical application of, atomic energy for peaceful purposes, including the production of electric power, with due consideration for the needs of the under-developed areas of the world;
  3. To foster the exchange of scientific and technical information on peaceful uses of atomic energy;
  4. To encourage the exchange of training of scientists and experts in the field of peaceful uses of atomic energy;
  5. To establish and administer safeguards designed to ensure that special fissionable and other materials, services, equipment, facilities, and information made available by the Agency or at its request or under its supervision or control are not used in such a way as to further any military purpose; and to apply safeguards, at the request of the parties, to any bilateral or multilateral arrangement, or at the request of a State, to any of that State’s activities in the field of atomic energy;
  6. To establish or adopt, in consultation and, where appropriate, in collaboration with the competent organs of the United Nations and with the specialized agencies concerned, standards of safety for protection of health and minimization of danger to life and property (including such standards for labor conditions), and to provide for the application of these standards to its own operation as well as to the operations making use of materials, services, equipment, facilities, and information made available by the Agency or at its request or under its control or supervision; and to provide for the application of these standards, at the request of the parties, to operations under any bilateral or multilateral arrangements, or, at the request of a State, to any of that State’s activities in the field of atomic energy;
  7. To acquire or establish any facilities, plant and equipment useful in carrying out its authorized functions, whenever the facilities, plant, and equipment otherwise available to it in the area concerned are inadequate or available only on terms it deems unsatisfactory.

United Kingdom Health Protection Agency (HPA) - www.hpa.org.uk

The Health Protection Agency's Radiation Protection Division (formerly the National Radiation Protection Board) conducts research on radiation protection and risk, provides training courses, acts as consultant and advisor in the United Kingdom, and offers laboratory and technical services.

Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors (CRCPD) - www.crcpd.org

CRCPD is a nongovernmental organization composed of all state radiation control program directors (not just Agreement States as just discussed in the OAS section). The purpose of CRCPD, according to its Web site is to:

  • promote radiological health in all aspects and phases;
  • encourage and promote cooperative enforcement programs with Federal agencies and between related enforcement agencies within each State;
  • encourage the interchange of experience among radiation control programs;
  • collect and make accessible to the membership of the CRCPD such information and data as might be of assistance to them in the proper fulfillment of their duties;
  • promote and foster uniformity of radiation control laws and regulations;
  • encourage and support programs that will contribute to radiation control for all;
  • assist the membership in their technical work and development; and
  • exercise leadership with radiation control professionals and consumers in radiation control development and action.

International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA) - www.irpa.net

IRPA provides the means for specialists in the radiation sciences to share radiation-related information and scientific discovery. Every country can participate in this endeavor that has as its objective the protection of humans and their environment. According to its Web site, IRPA strives to:

  • encourage the establishment of radiation-protection societies throughout the world as a means of achieving international cooperation
  • provide for and support international meetings for the discussions of all aspects of radiation protection
  • encourage international publications dedicated to radiation protection
  • encourage research and educational opportunities in those scientific and related disciplines which support radiation protection
  • encourage the establishment and continuous review of universally acceptable radiation-protection standards or recommendations through the international bodies concerned.

American National Standards Institute (ANSI) - www.ansi.org

A United States-based agency, ANSI assists in the development and use of standards across a variety of applications. One of those applications is radiation sciences, for which ANSI has developed recommended standards of practice. The primary objective of ANSI is to offer these standards as a means of providing consistent and quality practices throughout U.S. business.

International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurements (ICRU) - www.icru.org

The objective of the International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurements is “the development of internationally acceptable recommendations regarding (1) quantities and units of radiation and radioactivity; (2) procedures suitable for the measurement and application of these quantities in diagnostic radiology, radiation therapy, radiation biology, and industrial operations; and (3) physical data needed in the application of these procedures, the use of which tends to assure uniformity in reporting.”

United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) - www.unscear.org

According to the UNSCEAR Web site, UNSCEAR is the official international authority on the levels and effects of ionizing radiation, used for peaceful as well as military purposes and derived from natural as well as man-made sources. The Committee systematically reviews and evaluates levels and trends of medical exposure and exposure of the public and workers.

UNSCEAR's more recent work involves reviews of information on the risks from exposure to radon, epidemiological studies of radiation and its cancer and noncancer effects, radiation effects on the immune system, and cellular responses to radiation exposure. Reviews are also performed on medical, public and occupational exposures, radiation exposures from accidents, health effects of the Chernobyl accident, and radiation effects on nonhuman biota.

National Academies of Science (NAS) - www.nationalacademies.org

The National Academies bring together experts from all areas of science and technology. These experts voluntarily work with NAS committees and groups to address critical national issues and offer guidance to the federal government and the public. The Academies consist of four organizations: the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council.