IRPA 2016 Cape Town IRPA 2016 Cape Town IRPA 2016 Cape Town

  •  1st Announcement
  •  2nd Announcement

General Information

The basis for the scientific programme is the Congress Theme:

Practising Radiation Protection - Sharing the Experience and New Challenges

This theme focuses on the fact that we are the professionals of radiological protection. When practising our profession, we learn from each other and help each other to face new, unexpected developments. These include improved technologies permitting better protection, the increased presence of radiation in society, and response to radiation emergencies. All of us will recognise this panorama as part of our professional lives; the rapid development in African countries means that these changing perspectives are evident perhaps more than anywhere else.

Thus the programme will share practical and theoretical knowledge, and highlight new challenges and how we best can handle them, at all times with the practical needs of the radiological protection professional in focus. The programme will address three major topics of the radiological protection system:

  1. Fundamental science, as applied to radiological protection
    1. Epidemiology
    2. Physics and chemistry
    3. Biology
    4. Social sciences
  2. Policy, standards and culture, establishing philosophy and principles
    1. International standards and recommendations
    2. Ethical aspects and radiological protection culture
    3. Stakeholder involvement
    4. Nuclear security
    5. Training and education
    6. Integrated management systems
  3. Practical application, illustrating radiological protection practice
    1. Nuclear
    2. Industrial
    3. Mining and minerals processing
    4. Medical
    5. Non-ionising radiation
    6. Naturally occurring radiation
The sub-topics listed for each major topic are not mutually exclusive; rather, they exemplify different approaches to the major topics. Cross-cutting and thematic subjects will feature in all of these major topics and will include:

  1. Worker protection
  2. Public protection
  3. Patient protection
  4. Environmental protection
  5. Emergency preparedness and management
  6. Transportation of radioactive materials
  7. Safety and risk assessment
  8. Dosimetry
  9. Decommissioning
  10. Waste management
  11. Remediation
  12. Justification; Optimisation of protection
  13. Design of new installations
  14. Radon safety
  15. Sealed source management
  16. Other


The programme is planned with the ambition of providing a familiar and easily assimilated structure, taking advantage of the newest technical means to ensure an optimal experience for all participants. It will feature a series of keynote plenary presentation sessions, parallel topical sessions, poster sessions, and plenary summaries, and provide focused fora.

The plenary sessions, featuring world-leading radiation scientists and radiation protection practitioners, will highlight the current state of key topics. They will include the prestigious Sievert Lecture, reviews of the science underpinning ionising and non-ionising radiation protection, the current status of the international system of protection, a session updating us on the lessons learned from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear accident, and a brief focus presentation by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences Gold medallist. The final plenary session will identify the principal conclusions and outcomes from the Congress, highlighting the role and activities of IRPA.

Some 35 topical sessions, organised in groups of five parallel sessions, will provide oral presentations of submitted papers and selected keynote presentations, reflecting the scientific and practical areas defined by the topics and subjects specified above. Four major poster sessions will provide a forum for poster discussion and analysis. Every effort will be taken to integrate discussions in the oral and poster sessions and to follow up issues from panels and sessions. Some topical sessions will use a symposium format with plenary panels of invited speakers and, as always in topical sessions, interaction with all present delegates.

Thematically focused fora will be organised by, or in association with, other organisations. They will allow delegates to understand and contribute to the areas addressed. Examples of such co-operatively working fora envisaged include medical physics and medical exposures (IOMP, WHO, PAHO, IAEA), data collection (UNSCEAR), and nuclear issues (WNA), and further forum proposals are encouraged.

The Rolf M Sievert Award

The IRPA14 scientific programme will be opened, in keeping with tradition, by the Sievert Lecture, presented by the winner of the 2016 Sievert award. This award is granted in honour of Rolf M Sievert, a pioneer in radiation physics and radiological protection, and selected by the IRPA Executive.

Previous recipients of the Sievert award are: Bo Lindell, W Val Mayneord, Lauriston S Taylor, Sir Edward Pochin, Wolfgang Jacobi, Giovanni Silini, Daniel Beninson, Itsuzo Shigematsu, Abel J Gonzalez, Christian Streffer, and Richard V Osborne.

The Gold Medal for Radiation Protection of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

On the final day of the Congress, this medal will be awarded and the medallist will give a brief presentation. The medal was established in 1962 to be awarded to persons who have made a highly valuable contribution to international radiation protection progress during the preceding ten years. Recipients are nominated by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) and chosen by the Academy.

Previous recipients of the Gold medal include: W Binks, K Z Morgan, W V Mayneord, L S Taylor, E E Pochin, S Takahashi, B Lindell, I Shigematsu, A Guskova, R Doll, K Sankaranarayanan, and K F Eckerman.

International NIR Workshop

On May 9 - 11, 2016, the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) will hold its 8th International NIR Workshop in conjunction with the IRPA14 Congress. The major findings of this Workshop will be presented during the final scientific plenary of the IRPA International Congress. This landmark event signifies the dedicated co-operation and collaboration between ICNIRP and IRPA in order to optimise the safe and effective use of resources by practitioners of radiation protection.

ICNIRP can offer a discounted registration fee to IRPA14 participants who take this excellent opportunity to learn about the latest advances in NIR research and protection during their attendance at the Congress.

More information on the ICNIRP 8th International NIR Workshop is available at

50 Year Celebration

The fiftieth anniversary of international collaboration amongst radiation protection professionals worldwide, under the IRPA banner, will be celebrated with a session dedicated to the achievements and milestones that have marked this period. The session will be an important part of the scientific programme and will highlight the scientific topics underpinning our profession, the issues we have faced and can expect, and the lessons learned so far. It will provide a unique insight into the role and influence of professional societies and IRPA in the evolving world of radiation safety.

Technical Exhibition

The technical exhibition is a significant part of the scientific offering provided by IRPA14, and will give delegates the opportunity to sample the latest technical developments in all the fields in which radiation protection is playing an active role. Sponsored commercial presentations will give opportunities for delegates to be made aware of the products, services and capabilities of commercial companies and organisations. The technical exhibitors are also encouraged to submit scientific presentations which will be peer reviewed to the same scientific rigour as all other proffered presentations.

Electronic and Digital Aspects

The Congress will make use of best current electronic and digital technologies, and delegates are advised to bring relevant electronic devices such as laptops and tablets with them. The programme, abstracts, submitted papers and poster PDFs will all be available for a short period in advance of the Congress and will be WiFi-accessible throughout the Congress. This will permit delegates to optimise their personal programme tailored to their interests.

All PowerPoint presentations will be filed on the website shortly after delivery, together with audio-visual input where available. Refresher Course downloads will only be available to non-attendees on payment of an additional fee. There will be a limited programme of live webcasts of selected presentations for use by Associate Societies and relevant organisations around the world.

Modern communication methods, involving approaches such as blogs and tweets, will be used during the principal discussion sessions in order to help identify the key issues and questions. All the Congress programme content and output will be migrated to the IRPA website approximately six months after the Congress.

Some Principal Attractions

The scientific programme will cover a wide range and will include global overviews as well as in-depth analyses of specific issues. So as to illustrate the flavours of the programme, here are some examples of what is being planned:

Fundamental science - Attention will be paid to sources of exposure, interactions with matter, LET notions, radiochemistry, and nanoparticles. High doses and accidents as well as low doses, LNT, and epidemiology will be discussed, also prenatal exposures, non-cancer effects, individual radiosensitivity and toxicology and combined effects. Atomic bomb survivors, uranium studies, and background radiation will be revisited. Ethical issues as a scientific issue, public risk perception as related to policy, the idea of zero risk, and veterans from nuclear test will be discussed.

Policy, standards, culture - The global radiation safety paradigm will be addressed in terms of doses and risks, philosophy and principles, international safety standards for ionising and non-ionising radiation, graded regulatory approach, and the integration with medical, security, and other industrial hazards. Ethical and cultural experiences, training and education issues, quality and management, and stakeholder involvement will be addressed. Key issues identified during IRPA 14 and challenges for the future will be summarised.

Applications / Context - Within the 16 subjects identified, many issues are cross-cutting, some issues are overlapping, while some issues have unique features. The focus will be on the professional facing the realities of radiation protection practice, and the topical areas described below reflect practical situations that we encounter as professionals.

  • Medical: Patient safety and the Bonn Call for Action, improved radiation safety for children, protection issues with new technology, radiation safety compliance, QA and audits, DRLs, optimisation of staff protection, and implementation of the new Basic Safety Standards.
  • General ionising radiation protection: The nuclear industry (including regulatory developments required for emerging nuclear countries), the general industry, the extraction / mining / oil / gas industry, and natural radiation exposures.
  • Justification, optimisation, design: Nuclear and industrial examples of different levels of justification. Dose management databases like ISOE, source term reduction, and other successful cases of optimisation. Different reactor designs and their radiological protection properties.
  • Radiation detection / dosimetry: State of the art of radiation detection as well as internal and external dosimetry in different contexts, and, e.g., transuranics, telemetry, new personal dosimeters, and computational radiation detection.
  • Environment / natural background: Radiation in and effects on the environment. Radioecology: marine modelling, uncertainties. Public radon exposures, occupational NORM exposures, space crew cosmic exposures. Protecting the environment in practice.
  • Transport / sealed sources management: Practical issues that are often handled by the same professional. Effective compliance assurance. Delays and denials of shipment. Remote areas. Code of conduct. Disused sources.
  • Non-ionising radiation: Static, power, intermediate, radiofrequency electric and magnetic fields. Mobile telecommunication. UV and optical radiation, lasers. Ultrasound. Intentional medical/cosmetic exposures. Emerging technologies. Regulations and compliance.
  • Emergencies: A multi-disciplinary approach - cross-sector co-ordination. Medical countermeasures. Emerging role of social sciences. Risk communication in emergency response. Monitoring and assessment. Fukushima in retrospect, lessons learned.
  • Decommissioning / waste / remediation: RP in decommissioning plans (characterisation, personal/collective dose management) and waste management (acceptability of clearance, issues in waste storage and geological disposal). Practical approaches to derivation of remediation criteria.

Business Programme

Before and during the congress, a series of meetings will allow the appointed Associate Societies' participants to review the actions of IRPA and prepare for the future.

In order to facilitate the course of the Scientific Programme, the IRPA Associate Societies Forum will be held on Sunday 8 May. It will provide an opportunity to discuss common issues and to develop ideas concerning the running of IRPA. All Associate Societies are strongly encouraged to ensure that they are represented at the Forum, and all Congress delegates may also participate.

The General Assembly to be held on the Wednesday afternoon will be the principal part of the business programme during which some 150 formally nominated Associate Society delegates, representing the Associated Societies, will elect the officers and members for the next Executive Council that will operate during the 2016 - 2020 period. It will also conduct other formal business, including confirming the venue for the next International Congress (IRPA15) scheduled for 2020 and the selection of the prime candidate for the 2024 Congress.

Additional IRPA committee and commission meetings will be announced by the IRPA Executive. For further information, please consult the IRPA14 website at and contact the IRPA Executive office at .

Refresher Courses

The Refresher Course programme provides delegates with the opportunity to update their knowledge in specific areas of radiation protection science and practice. The courses are aimed at providing a broad overview of the current state of a given topic, thereby giving delegates not working directly in that field a sound understanding of the current status, and at giving experienced practitioners a more detailed understanding of up-to-date developments in a field.

Twenty refresher courses will be delivered by selected instructors according to their outstanding expertise and competence in teaching. The courses are offered in five parallel sessions each morning, Monday through Thursday, beginning at 0730.

The courses will be submitted to the American Academy of Health Physics for accreditation for Continuing Education Credits, and course details will be available to support accreditation by any other Associate Society for relevant Continuing Professional Development (or equivalent) schemes. The fee for the refresher courses will be ZAR 600.00 per person per course.

The list below presents outline information on the course schedule; the latest course details are specified on the Congress website and will be clearly indicated in the registration system.

IRPA Young Professionals Award

The IRPA14 Organising Committee issues a special invitation and encouragement to younger scientists and professionals to attend the congress as delegates. Besides the Young Professionals Award the Organising Committee will encourage networking amongst young persons by holding a specific reception for them, allowing them also to meet some of the senior figures in the profession.
Eligible persons are requested to tick the relevant box on the registration form.

Purpose of the Award

Processes that involve radioactive material and radiation require qualified scientists and professionals in the field of radiation protection and safety. The purpose of this award is therefore to promote investigation into radiation protection and all its related disciplines by young scientists and professionals. The IRPA Young Professionals Award renders an opportunity to present the work in an oral form to an experienced international audience of experts and peers.


To qualify for this distinction young scientists and professionals are required to:

  • be under 35 years, or in exceptional cases if the candidate is older, be in the first five years of their career in radiation protection;
  • be the main author of a paper whose abstract has been approved by the Scientific Committee or Board of the candidate's Radiation Protection Associate Society in that Region;
  • if the work has more than one author, obtain the written consent of the other authors for the main author to be the candidate for the award; and
  • be officially designated by the relevant Associate Society in the Region of the Conference.
The Candidate's Associate Society is required to:

  • nominate their candidate(s) to the Congress organisers in accordance with the congress rules. Only one candidate per society is allowed for IRPA14; and
  • ensure that the candidate for the award can participate in the Congress and make an oral presentation of the paper. In case the candidate cannot assure his/her participation due to financial constraints, he/she will be able to apply for any of the scholarships that sponsoring organizations are able to grant. Normally the candidate's Associate Society should ensure that the applicant can participate, where necessary by providing financial support.


Three awards (First, Second and Third prize) will be presented to the selected young scientists and professionals, according to criteria established by the Jury. The awards will be announced and presented in the Closing Ceremony of IRPA14, and will consist of diplomas and/or memorial plaques, together with a monetary prize. All candidates for the award should be present during this ceremony.