International, regional and national organisations involved

A number of international organisations play a key role in establishing the basis for radiation protection and its implementation in international safety standards, which are widely adopted in national legal and regulatory frame­works. The main organisations are identified in this section.

3.1.1 The United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR)

The United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radia­tion (UNSCEAR) was established by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1955 to assess and report levels and effects of exposure to ionising radiation [1]. Initially its work was based on the consequences of the Hiro­shima and Nagasaki bombings in Japan. Later, scientific input from the UN member countries has provided the basis for development of international recommendations for protection of humans and the environment (carried out by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), see below). The UNSCEAR secretariat collates relevant data submitted by the member countries, international organisations and non-governmental organisations, and analyses those data prior to publication of the scientific evaluations (e. g., assessment of the consequences of the Chernobyl accident [5]). Governments and organisations throughout the world rely on the Committee’s1 estimates as the scientific basis for evaluating radiation risk and for establishing protective measures. The latest report of UNSCEAR [6] of 2011 focuses on summarising low-dose radiation effects on health.

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