Radiation protection


Radiation protection

Nuclear and radiological emergency

A nuclear emergency occurs when radioactive substances are released into the environment following an accident in nuclear installations, in storage facilities for irradiated fuel or in radioactive waste deposits, in nuclear-powered ships, in satellites with nuclear systems on board or during the transport of irradiated fuel.

A radiological emergency, on the other hand, refers to events not connected to nuclear plants but which involve the diffusion of radioactive substances in the environment by incidental events such as in industries, hospitals and research laboratories or during the transport of radioactive material.

The Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS, the Italian National Institute of Health) carries on various activities to deal with these emergencies. It participates in the Data Processing and Evaluation Centre (Cevad), the technical evaluation structure that operates in support of the Department of Civil Protection in the event of emergencies, contributes to information about the population and operators, and finally, in European projects to improve emergency preparedness with a radiation protection approach.

Guidelines and other documents of the World Health Organization (WHO)

Health risk assessment – from the nuclear accident after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

Communicating Risk in Public Health Emergencies – A WHO Guideline for Emergency Risk Communication (ERC) policy and practice

Iodine thyroid blocking – Guidelines for use in planning for and responding to radiological and nuclear emergencies

WHO Guidance on Research Methods for Health Emergency and Disaster Risk Management (to know more: https://extranet.who.int/kobe_centre/en/project-details/GUIDANCE_ResearchMethods_HealthEDRM)


Emergenze nucleari e radiologiche

L’emergenza nucleare si verifica quando avviene il rilascio di sostanze radioattive nell’ambiente a seguito di un incidente in impianti nucleari, in impianti di stoccaggio di combustibile irraggiato o in depositi di rifiuti radioattivi, in navi a propulsione nucleare, in satelliti con sistemi nucleari a bordo o durante il trasporto di combustibile irraggiato. Le emergenze radiologiche, invece, si riferiscono a eventi non connessi a impianti nucleari ma che comportano comunque la diffusione di sostanze radioattive nell’ambiente. Ne sono un esempio gli eventi incidentali che coinvolgono sorgenti radioattive utilizzate in industrie, ospedali e laboratori di ricerca o durante il trasporto di materiale radioattivo. L’Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS) svolge diverse attività per affrontare queste emergenze: partecipa al CEVaD, la struttura tecnica di valutazione che opera a supporto del Dipartimento della Protezione Civile in caso di emergenze, contribuisce all’informazione della popolazione e degli operatori, partecipa a progetti europei per migliorare la preparazione alle emergenze con un approccio radioprotezionistico.


National center for radiation protection and computational physics


Radiation protection Protection from radiation in nuclear and radiological emergencies