Historical Background of ARAN
Following information last updated on 19/March/2012

1. Background

Technical Cooperation Projects of IAEA RCA (Regional Cooperative Agreement) comprising various themes for two periods including:

  • 2009 – 2011 (Completed).
    • Medicine and Health - 3 themes
    • Food and Agriculture - 3 themes
    • Environment - 4 themes
    • Radiation protection - 1 theme
  • 2012-2013 (Running).
    • Medicine and Health - 6 themes
    • Food and Agriculture - 3 themes
    • Environment - 3 themes
    • Industry - 5 themes

Technical Cooperation Project for radiation protection has been issued as RAS/9/042.

2. Sustainability of Regional Radiation Protection Infrastructure

The theme of RAS/9/042 is "Sustainability of Regional Radiation Protection Infrastructure" and was approved in 2007. The project RAS/9/042 comprises 17 states including Australia, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippine, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thai and Vietnam.

RAS/9/042 comprises five projects including:

  1. Regional networking of medical practitioners
  2. Radiation emergency planning and preparedness
  3. Waste management strategies and environmental discharge criteria
  4. Regional networking of regulatory authorities
  5. Regional networking of ALARA

In the beginning of the RAS/9/042 project, David Wood (ANSTO, Australia) was in charge of PLCC (Project Lead Country Coordinator) from 2007 to 2008 and was succeeded by Kazuo Sakai (NIRS, Japan) as PLCC from 2009 to 2011.

3. Asian Regional ALARA Network

The Asia Region ALARA Network (ARAN) was initiated by the IAEA in Daejeon, Republic of Korea in December 2007. ARAN was established as an Asian version of successful EAN (European ALARA Network) that was established in Europe in 1996 with support by EC (European Commission) and started financially self-sustained operation in 2005. By 2005, EAN convened 12 workshops that had total 900 participants and issued 120 recommendations.

Aiming the permeation of ALARA, the kick off meeting of ARAN was convened in Daejon, Korea in December 2007 under IAEA's financial support. As well as the other projects in RAS/9/042, ARAN has concrete objectives and goals. To accomplish the objectives, delegates from 17 states in the kick off meeting organized steering committee with Japan as Chair and Republic of Korea as Vice-Chair and determined agenda for next several years. Kazuo Sakai (NIRS, Japan) and Won-Chul Choi (KINS, Korea) were appointed as Chair and Vice-Chair for next three years, respectively. The steering committee meeting held during the third workshop in 2007 approved reappointment of Chair and appointment of Keith Baldry (EPASA, Australia) as Vice-Chair.

The main objectives of ARAN are information exchange between network member states and discussion of recent and future problems of occupational exposure including nuclear, industrial, medical, research, and work with naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM), technically enhanced NORM (TENORM) and scrap material.

Main activity is to prepare recommendations by stakeholders' three days discussion in annual workshops convened by rotation between member states.

4. Workshops

Workshops comprise of status reports by member states, keynotes by experts for the topics of each workshop, preparation of recommendations by separated sessions. Group discussions by 3 to 4 sessions with 4 to 5 people in each session are advantageous to encourage lively discussions finding unique problems by different states. Each session prepares recommendations how to permeate ALARA concept as common factor of workshop. Recommendations from each session reflect the expertise of the participants.

Participants invited for each workshop are from various areas including regulatory authorities, industries and academic society depending upon the theme of each workshop. Recommendations proposed by sessions are merged and final recommendations are prepared in the last day of workshop.

By March 2012, four workshops have been convened.

1st Workshop
Improving Radiation Protection in Industrial Radiography
November 5 – 7, 2008
Chiba, Japan

2nd Workshop
Improving Radiation Protection in NORM Industries
October 12-16, 2009
Beijing, China

3rd Workshop
Occupational Exposure to Medical Radiations
October 13-16, 2010
Adelaide, Australia

4th Workshop
Regional Meeting on Occupational Radiation Protection in Emergency
Exposure Situation
November 22-25, 2011

Recommendations issued in each workshop have been announced in ARAN website and through participants' connections.

Member states are required to report in the next workshop what effective measure they have done for recommendations in each country.

5. Undergoing issues

Opening ARAN website is important to announce activity, recommendations and outcome to stakeholders. The ARAN website also plays a role of providing information and written materials about ALARA to various areas of occupations.

ARAN is planning to establish the website in English and in the languages of the member states to provide information both for the public and for experts of the member states. The URL of the ARAN website is as follows and should be opened in the first quarter of 2012.

http://www.asian-alara.net

Moreover, publishing newsletters is also important activity. The steering committee in the third workshop organized the newsletter editorial committee. It was proposed to start with publishing newsletters in English and eventually publishing with translated versions in the languages of the member states.

6. Remained issues

One of the major problems ARAN is suffering is termination of financial support by IAEA at the end of workshop in 2011. IAEA encouraged ARAN self-sustained operation only three years after establishment. Many member states have hard time to send delegates and experts to the workshops for financial reason. ARAN is experiencing challenging and difficult restart.

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