Application of the ALARA principle for radon at work: feedback from the European ALARA network

Sylvain Andresz, Julie Morgan, Cristina Nuccetelli, Martha Palacios, Caroline Schieber, Malgorzate Sneve, Nicolas Stritt, Hugh Synnott, Fernand Vermeersch

    Research outputpeer-review


    The Council Directive 2013/59/Euratom has introduced binding requirements for the management of radon in the workplace in Member States of the European Union. How does it work in practice? In 2021, the European ALARA Network created a working group on ALARA for Radon at Work with the objective of collecting and sharing experiences from the field. A survey was developed to detail each step of the national regulations for the control of radon and to describe case studies showing implementation. This article presents a qualitative analysis of the answers received from seven countries. There are no two similar national regulations and, at each step, different provisions, protocols, techniques etc are applicable or recommended. This diversity contributes to the richness of the results and can inform about interesting and good practices, where ‘good’ is defined by what is appropriate in the nationally and locally prevailing circumstances. All national regulations follow a graded approach, which is a key component for the implementation of the optimisation (ALARA) principle, yet several potential weak points that may be challenging to ALARA have been identified and are discussed, namely the radon risk assessment, the focus on numerical values, uncertainties in the measurement, how to obtain economically efficient remediation, and the interface with other regulations. Strengthening collaboration between risk prevention and radiation protection actors could help to provide and build expertise on radon management in the workplace, especially when exposure is managed as a planned exposure situation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number041502
    JournalJournal of Radiological protection
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - Dec 2022

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