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Strategies and guidance for establishing a practical radiation protection culture in Europe in case of long term radioactive contamination after a nuclear accident


The evaluation of the management of the Chernobyl post-accident situation in the CIS countries indicated the need and importance to involving the population in the day-to-day management of the radiological situation to complete the rehabilitation programme implemented by public authorities. To be effective and sustainable, this involvement must rely on the dissemination of a practical radiological protection culture within all segments of the population and especially within professionals in charge of public health. The SAGE project will develop strategies and guidance for implementing and disseminating such a culture in Western Europe, in case of a nuclear incident or accident with long-term radiological impacts.

The objectives are developments of procedures:
- to educate professionals involved in the public health domain on the various aspects of the practical radiological protection culture needed in a contaminated environment resulting from a nuclear accident;
- to provide these professionals with guidance to re-organise their activities to integrate the radiological dimension in their day-to-day practice;
- to provide them with knowledge and material to educate and advice the general population within the course of their practice on how to protect oneself when living in a contaminated territory.

The key output of the project will be a handbook on the practical radiation protection culture for professionals. This includes a comprehensive guidance for the general population on practical advice to follow in a contaminated territory in order to avoid unnecessary exposures in the course of day-to-day activities and to adopt a responsible and prudent attitude in regard to the protection of health.

This will be achieved by:
- reviewing and assessing the current infrastructures for the management of post-accident situations in three Western European countries (France, Germany and United-Kingdom);
- drawing the lessons from the feedback experience of the day-to-day management of the radiological situation by professionals and local populations living in the contaminated territories during the last fifteen years in Belarus;
- testing the proposed strategies and guidance in the contaminated territories in Belarus at the level of local communities by professionals involved in the public health area (nurses, midwives, medical doctors, radiation protection experts, medical social workers);
- validating the handbook through a consultation process of Western Europe public health and radiation protection professionals and relevant stakeholders (authorities, NGOs);
- disseminating the results of the project through a European Workshop.

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