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— POSTPONED — Round Table on Strengthening the Engagement of International Programmes and Organisations in the Development, Procurement and Adoption of Alternative Technologies to Radioactive Sources

21 Apr 2020 Vienna, Austria

This event is by invite only.

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— POSTPONED — Round Table on Strengthening the Engagement of International Programmes and Organisations in the Development, Procurement and Adoption of Alternative Technologies to Radioactive Sources

In light of the global impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, we have decided to postpone this event. We will consult with our partners and announce the new date as soon as possible


Developing a comprehensive and sustainable approach to radiological security requires the proper management of sources throughout their lifecycle—from the moment the sources are chosen and the security systems that protect them are being designed through to proper disposal at the end of their lifecycle.

To increase resilience, the total amount of radioactive material in circulation must be decreased, strict control over the radioactive sources in use must be enforced, a strong security culture must be fostered, and careful planning and exercising must take place to ensure the response is effective if an event occurs. An important way to reduce material in circulation is to replace radioactive sources, if possible, with non-isotopic alternative technologies. Of course, a strong legislative and regulatory framework, security regulations, and incentives to adopt alternative technologies whenever feasible all play a fundamental role in achieving effective and sustainable radiological security.

Often the end users of radiation generating devices, radioactive source-based or not, decide which device to use based on various factors such as available resources, technical requirements or user preference. This decision can be influenced by other parties outside the operating organisation – such as those in government agencies (the ministry of health, for example) or financing organisations, including international programmes.

End users may also select a device without full prior knowledge of all related opportunities and challenges (e.g. lack of knowledge of the existence of a funding opportunity for a specific technology; lack of understanding about long-term costs associated with certain devices; lack of anticipation of the need for managing disused sources when switching to alternative technologies; etc.) In most cases, the final decision and assessment of radiological security and safety concerns come as a secondary review after the technology has been selected or is being readied for operation and licensing.

It is therefore essential for all sides – the technical application (end user), the financing organisation, and the regulator – to have a better understanding of each other’s considerations throughout the process. It is also important to identify and involve key stakeholders, in particular at the international level, who can influence and contribute to the process of adopting alternative technologies to radioactive sources. It is finally essential to ensure that international organisations and programmes are aware of their respective mandates and coordinate their plans and activities in order to develop synergies and achieve best results while preventing overlap, duplication of efforts and possible conflicts.


WINS will organise a one-day round table to review the process and associated actions as well as the steps for selecting, procuring and commissioning radiation equipment. The round table will review the key questions to be considered at each phase of the process and will identify key stakeholders and the most influential factors at each of these steps. It will also discuss how and when security matters need to be considered in the process.

The event will be an opportunity to conduct a comprehensive review of the roles and responsibilities of the key stakeholders at national and international levels and how they influence the process. The discussion will focus on the role and contribution of international organisations in the development, procurement and adoption of alternative technologies in order to develop a common understanding of global efforts.

The discussions will be based on real-life experiences and the main lessons learned from those who have been involved in the process. Case studies will be used to demonstrate the diversity of parties actually involved and how decision makers can influence a project.

The round table will serve as an opportunity for participating organisations to better know each other and identify gaps and opportunities for enhancing their coordination and contributions. Participants will be asked to have open discussions, express their own perspectives, and offer suggestions for improving the collective approach to the topic. In particular, participants will be expected to share with the group what their mandates and objectives are, what they are doing regarding collaboration and partnership, what gaps they see and what opportunities they would be willing to explore. The round table will aim at identifying follow-up actions, including a couple of specific topics or project areas for a follow-on meeting with selected stakeholders.


The round table will cover all applications of radiation technologies including for medical (blood irradiation, oncology, etc.), industrial (sterilisation, radiography, well-logging), agricultural (phytosanitary and SIT) and research purposes.

The event will be open to representatives from:

  • International organisations and initiatives, including those funding devices for their members or for research, international development and health projects;
  • Organisations supporting usage of irradiation or applications within irradiation (like health, agriculture, etc.) via governance (especially guidance, standards or accreditation), research or advocacy;
  • Organisations that use high activity radioactive sources and/or alternative technologies;
  • Manufacturers of alternative technology devices and associated R&D organisations;
  • Regulatory authorities and other governmental organisations.


Bettina Lock, WINS


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