United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation
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The United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) was set up by resolution of the United Nations General Assembly in 1955. 21 states are designated to provide scientists to serve as members of the committee which holds formal meetings (sessions) annually and submits a report to the General Assembly. The organisation has no power to set radiation standards nor to make recommendations in regard to nuclear testing. It was established solely to "define precisely the present exposure of the population of the world to ionizing radiation." A small secretariat, located in Vienna and functionally linked to the UN Environment Program, organizes the annual sessions and manages the preparation of documents for the Committee's scrutiny.
UNSCEAR issues major public reports on Sources and Effects of Ionizing Radiation from time to time. As of 2017, there have been 28 major publications from 1958 to 2017. The reports are all available from the UNSCEAR website. These works are very highly regarded as sources of authoritative information and are used throughout the world as a scientific basis for evaluation of radiation risk. The publications review studies undertaken separately from a range of sources. Reports from UN member states and other international organisations on data from survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Chernobyl disaster, accidental, occupational, and medical exposure to ionizing radiation.
Originally, in 1955, India and the Soviet Union wanted to add several neutralist and communist states, such as mainland China. Eventually a compromise with the US was made and Argentina, Belgium, Egypt and Mexico were permitted to join. The organisation was charged with collecting all available data on the effects of "ionising radiation upon man and his environment." (James J. Wadsworth - American representative to the General Assembly).
The Committee was originally based in the Secretariat Building in New York City, but moved to Vienna in 1974.
The Secretaries of the Committee have been:
- Dr. Ray K. Appleyard (UK) (1956–1961)
- Dr. Francesco Sella (Italy) (1961–1974)
- Dr. Dan Jacobo Beninson (Argentina) (1974–1979)
- Dr. Giovanni Silini (Italy) (1980–1988)
- Dr. Burton Bennett (1988 acting; 1991–2000)
- Dr. Norman Gentner (2001–2004; 2005 acting)
- Dr. Malcolm Crick (2005–present)
Contents of UNSCEAR 2008 reportEdit
UNSCEAR has published 20 major reports, latest is the summary 2010 (14 pages), last full report is 2008 report Vol.I and Vol.II with scientific annexes (A to E).
"UNSCEAR 2008 REPORT Vol.I" main report and 2 scientific annexes
- Report to the General Assembly (without scientific annexes; 24 pages)
- Includes short overviews of the materials and conclusions contained in the scientific annexes
- Scientific Annex
"UNSCEAR 2008 REPORT Vol.II" 3 scientific annexes
Type of radiation exposureEdit
The United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) itemized type of exposures and reported exposure rate of each segment.
|Natural Sources||Normal occurrences||Cosmic radiation|
|Enhanced sources||Metal mining and smelting|
|Coal mining and power production from coal|
|Oil and gas drilling|
|Rare earth and titanium dioxide industries|
|Zirconium and ceramics industries|
|Application of radium and thorium|
|Other exposure situations|
|Man-made sources||Peaceful purposes||Nuclear power production|
|Transport of nuclear and radioactive material|
|Application other than nuclear power|
|Military purposes||Nuclear tests|
|Residues in the environment. Nuclear fallout|
|Exposure from accidents|
|Occupational radiation exposure|
|Natural Sources||Cosmic ray exposures of aircrew and space crew|
|Exposures in extractive and processing industries|
|Gas and oil extraction industries|
|Radon exposure in workplaces other than mines|
|Man-made sources||Peaceful purposes||Nuclear power industries|
|Medical uses of radiation|
|Industrial uses of radiation|
|Military purposes||Other exposed workers|
|Source UNSCEAR 2008 Annex B retrieved 2011-7-4|