System Of Radiation Protection Overview

From ICRPaedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

What is the System of Radiological Protection?

ICRP Publication 103 The 2007 Recommendations of the International Commission on Radiological Protection

The System of Radiological Protection contributes to an appropriate level of protection from harmful Effects of Exposure to Ionising Radiation. Objectives of Radiological Protection are defined for both people and the environment.

Protection is based on three Fundamental Principles of Radiological Protection related to:

  • doing more good than harm (the justification principle),
  • keeping doses as low as reasonably achievable (the optimisation principle), and
  • ensuring no person receives an unacceptably high dose (the limitation principle).

These principles are universal, but various Exposure Categories and Situations are defined to help apply them most effectively in different circumstances. The System of Radiological Protection is based on scientific knowledge, ethical values, and more than a century of practical experience. It forms the basis of standards, regulations, guidance, programmes, and practice, worldwide.

The System of Radiological Protection overall is described in ICRP Publication 103.

Back to Top

Objectives of Radiological Protection

The primary aim of The System of Radiological Protection is: “to contribute to an appropriate level of protection for people and the environment against the detrimental effects of radiation exposure without unduly limiting the desirable human actions that may be associated with such exposure” (ICRP Publication 103 paragraph 26)

For People

Exposures are managed and controlled to:

  • Prevent Harmful effects that are, in principle, preventable
  • Reduce the risk of cancer and heritable effects to the extent reasonably achievable

For the Environment

The aim is to have a negligible impact on:

  • the maintenance of biological diversity
  • the conservation of species
  • the health and status of natural habitats, communities and ecosystems

Back to Top

Fundamental Principles of Radiological Protection


The System of Radiological Protection is anchored in three fundamental principles:


“Any decision that alters the radiation exposure situation should do more good than harm” (ICRP Publication 103 paragraph 203)

Optimisation of Protection

Doses should all be kept as low as reasonably achievable, taking into account economic and societal factors” (ICRP Publication 103 paragraph 203)

Dose Limitation

“The total dose to any individual … should not exceed the appropriate limits” (ICRP Publication 103 paragraph 203)

Back to Top

ICRPGuide.JPGTake me back to the ICRP's Guide to the System of Radiological Protection!