The 5th edition of the International Radiological Protection School (IRPS), organised by the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) in partnership with the Centre for Radiation Protection Research (CRPR) at Stockholm University and the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM), was held on 14-18 August 2023, in Stockholm, Sweden.
This edition saw 56 participants from 25 countries take part in the five-day course which aimed to deepen and exchange their knowledge with a faculty of renowned experts in the radiological protection field.
In his opening address, NEA Director-General William D. Magwood, IV noted that with new technologies to mitigate climate change, armed conflict in a country with nuclear reactors, a pandemic and global shortages of radiological protection staff, it is more important than ever to maintain a strong and capable community of radiological protection professionals.
Michael Knochenhauer, Director General, Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, and Catarina Rydin, Section Dean, Biology Section, Stockholm University, were also in attendance and delivered opening remarks.
This is the spirit of the IRPS, which aims to provide participants with the necessary understanding of the international radiological protection system to enable them to take a leading role in applying and adapting the system in challenging circumstances over the coming decades.
Michael Knochenhauer, Director General, Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, addresses the IRPS in Stockholm, Sweden.
The course was delivered by 23 international lecturers, maintaining the excellent participant-lecturer ratio that has always been a hallmark of the IRPS. The twenty topical lectures addressed specific issues in radiological protection, providing an overview of the fundamentals, recent developments and future challenges in the field. A traditional feature of the IRPS is the practical case studies, which allow participants to apply the knowledge gained and to network with classmates.
Key activities in this 2023 edition included two panel discussions on radiological protection challenges in the coming years: one with nuclear regulators moderated by Director-General Magwood and another with representatives of international organisations.
The final day of the workshop delved into the practical experiences and difficulties in applying the radiological protection system, where participants were invited to focus on their personal experiences and share with peers the challenges they face in their daily work.
IRPS participants taking part in a RP laboratory session at Stockholm University.
Since its inception, the IRPS course has been led by Prof. Richard Wakeford, Honorary Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Manchester, in the United Kingdom.
Applications for IRPS usually open between February and March. In 2024, the IRPS will take place from 12 to 16 August and it will be again hosted by Stockholm University. For more information on the course, visit the IRPS webpage.