ICRP Publication 77 reaffirms the Commission's current policy of radiological protection, in particular its policy on public exposure, and aims to clarify the practical application of that policy to the disposal of radioactive waste. It discusses the justification of a practice, the optimisation of protection, the use of collective dose assessed over long distances and times, the implications of potential exposure, and the distinction between practices and intervention. In particular, it explains why collective doses should not be ignored simply because the individual doses contributing to it are small. However, it also stresses that collective doses may need to be presented separated into blocks of limited ranges of dose and time, and forecasts of collective dose over long time should include a critical examination of their uncertainty. This report is expected to be important to anyone dealing with radiation protection policy, obviously in the context of waste disposal, but also in general because of the explanations of the Commission's policy concerning collective dose.
Preface. Introduction. Terminology. The Commissions Policy on Public Exposure. Policies for Waste Disposal. Difficulties in the Application of the Current Policy. The Justification of a Practice and the Optimisation of Protection. Dose limits. Extended ranges of time and dose. The inclusion of potential exposure. Practices and intervention. The impact on the Commission's policy. The Commissions Policy for Waste Disposal. The Framework of Radiological Protection. The justification of a practice. The optimization of protection, constraints, and dose limits. Potential exposure. Intervention. The Application of the Framework of Protection to Waste Disposal. General issues. The use of collective dose. The practical implications of potential exposure. The reassessment of residues. The protection of future generations. References.