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The following definition has been proposed by the EAN Working Group on ALARA Culture. It has been endorsed by the members of the EAN Steering Group.

EAN Proposal: Definition of the ALARA Approach to Radiation Protection Culture

 Based on scientific knowledge and characterised by risk awareness, optimisation of radiation protection is an ongoing and iterative process, to keep

  • the magnitude of individual doses,
  • the number of people exposed and
  • the likelihood of potential exposure ALARA,
taking into account technical, economic and societal developments, requiring qualitative and quantitative judgements and involving all parties having an interest in or concern about an exposure situation.

The implementation of the ALARA approach in practice is the most important element of radiation protection culture because of the particularity of the linear dose-effect relationship without thresholds (LNT) compared to protection methods for chemical and toxic agents, new findings of new health effects due to ionising radiation, and the application of the precautionary principle.

The implementation requires an adequate number of well trained and experienced radiation protection specialists familiar with the ALARA principle and associated procedures and ready to spread the ALARA culture within their field of activities.