“Radioactive sources are all around us, providing immense societal and economic benefits, but they can also pose a risk. Proper management of these sources protects us from accidental exposure to radiation and keeps it away from people with bad intentions,” IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said at the opening of the International Conference on Radiation Safety. and the security of radioactive sources – achievements and future plans. Through a video message, the Chief Executive welcomed over 600 attendees to the five-day gathering, the first of its kind to be held since 2013. You can still register to attend the conference virtually as an observer.
Today, radioactive sources are used in many fields, including energy, medicine, industry, food and agriculture, and environmental monitoring and protection. The IAEA helps countries manage radioactive sources through the IAEA Safety Standards, the IAEA Nuclear Security Collection and the Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources — a non-legally binding international instrument issued by the IAEA that provides international requirements and recommendations to help countries establish and strengthen national regulatory infrastructure. This includes advice on the management and protection of radioactive sources and on the development, harmonization and implementation of national policies, laws and regulations, as well as cooperation between countries.
“As more and more people gain access to the enormous benefits of radioactive sources, the work that you and we do becomes even more important,” Grossi told conference attendees. Mr. Grossi said that 141 countries have so far expressed their political commitment to the Code of Conduct, making it the main international instrument defining the principles of safety and security of radioactive sources.
During the conference, which will take place from 20 to 24 June, participants will explore six main themes: issues of safety and security of radioactive sources throughout their life cycle; collaboration between national stakeholders; regulatory control of radioactive sources; the sustainability and effectiveness of national infrastructure, including lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic; international cooperation; and preparing for and responding to radiological incidents and emergencies involving radioactive sources.