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Summary of Recommendations for Preparedness & Follow-up of Populations Affected by Nuclear Accident

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The EU-OPERRA SHAMISEN project started in December 2015, with the goal of producing a set of recommendations that would contribute to health surveillance and related communication with affected populations after nuclear accidents. Experience suggested that this was an area that had not been sufficiently addressed in current accident response planning in many European countries. It was also recognised that an update of emergency preparedness in this area was needed for a number of reasons. These include the fact that existing recommendations had a technical focus, with less attention paid to social, ethical, psychological issues and that the information tended to be directed towards the decisions made by experts rather than for support of affected populations1. Finally, there have been a number of changes in legal and ethical requirements for health surveillance and epidemiological studies (e.g., related to data protection) that need consideration.

Introduction to the Current Document

The current recommendations are based on reviews, carried out within the SHAMISEN project, of guidelines in existence at the time of the Chernobyl and Fukushima accidents and of the actions which were taken, highlighting successes and limitations. The review includes case studies and lessons learnt from previous nuclear accidents, and summaries are provided as an Annex to the present document. The recommendations aim at improving health and living conditions of potentially affected populations. They cover health surveillance, epidemiological studies, dose reconstruction, evacuation and training of health personnel and other actors involved in liaising with affected populations. The recommendations are divided into general principles that apply across all phases of an accident, and three sets of specific recommendations for emergency and accident preparedness, the early and intermediate phase and the long-term recovery phase (Figure 1). According to the ICRP, the early and intermediate phases comprise the emergency response, whereas the long-term phase is associated with the recovery of the affected areas and the long-term rehabilitation of living conditions of the population. The exact demarcation between the phases will be dependent on the specific accident, and for large nuclear accidents affecting large areas, different phases could affect different geographic areas at the same time. In addition, recommendations have been colour-coded2 according to topic.

You can download the whole recommendations from here.

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Caractérisation de l’exposition aux radiofréquences (RF) induite par les ouveaux usages et les nouvelles technologies des systèmes de communications mobiles (CREST)

In the 1990’s, mobile phones were mainly used close to the head for voice calls. Much work has gone into characterising this kind of exposure. New technologies and devices, however, have lead to a rapid evaluation of uses, with phones, tablets, portable computers and other devices being used to surf the internet, download data and send text and video messages. At the same time, new types of networks (Wifi, LTE) and network configurations (Femtocell) are rapidly being developed, leading to different RF exposure distributions in the population. We have little information, currently, concerning the patterns of use of mobile communication devices and technologies in the population or their impact on personal RF exposures. This is an important limitation for exposure assessment in epidemiological studies and for the assessment of the potential health impact of RF in the general population. The main objective of CREST, therefore, is to characterize RF exposure from new mobile sources (including smartphones, tablets, laptops) in the general population as a function of technology and new uses related to these technologies. In order to achieve this objective, we have several operative objectives: 
1. The conduct of a general population survey (based on a questionnaire and an APP on smartphones) to characterise typical uses (surfing, voice calls, data download, text messages, etc.) in different contexts (home, work, school, transport, etc.) and positions (device close to the head, on the lap, etc.);

2. The evaluation of power emitted by different mobile sources, based on existing measurements and tools (mobile test system (TEMS)), for different uses (voice call – on standard networks or VoIP), close to the head or using loud-speaker or hands-free kits; data use (3G, LTE, Wifi, Femto cells);

3. The evaluation of exposure related to different uses and positions, based on a compilation of existing dosimetric data and additional measurements for specific configurations. Specific dosimetric studies will be conducted if necessary ;

4. The development of RF exposure matrices for different devices, technologies and uses based on data on typical uses and related exposure derived within the project. These matrices will be an important asset for exposure estimation in the general population and in epidemiological studies.

Work in this project will be carried out by two complementary teams (epidemiologists and engineers) who will collaborate to achieve the project’s objectives. The plan of work will be developed jointly and specific activities conducted in parallel. The work is broken down into 5 complementary Workpackages as follows :

WP1. Characterisation and evaluation of uses in the general population

WP2. Identification and characterisation of networks and systems – existing and foreseen – that can be used for the uses identified in WP1.

WP3. Evaluation of emitted power for the sources identified in WP2

WP4. Evaluation of exposure related to different uses and functions

WP5. Development of appropriate indicators to quantify RF exposure related to new devices, uses and technologies.

The estimated project duration is 36 months.

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