Around 300 members and associates of the Society for Radiological Protection (SRP), the UK’s leading organisation for scientists working in the field of radiation safety, are holding their annual gathering at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) this week.
The three day event which runs Tuesday 16 – Thursday 18 May, focuses on the importance of having systems and plans in place nationally and internationally to prevent accidents and incidents involving radioactive materials. Lessons learned from past nuclear accidents are important sources of knowledge and experience for those preparing for the consequences of any future event. In particular, there have been extensive studies of the impact on human health of historic events such as the Windscale fire of 60 years ago in the UK and more recent accidents at Chernobyl and Fukushima.
Current knowledge about the health risks from the exposure to low levels of ionising radiation is the subject of the conference’s keynote lecture by Dr Richard Wakeford, Professor in Epidemiology at the Institute of Population Health and Dalton Nuclear Institute, University of Manchester. Dr Wakeford will say that it is beyond rational dispute that exposure to moderate and high levels of radiation increases the risk of most forms of cancer in the exposed individual. The statistical and experimental data is overwhelming. Where uncertainty lies however is the risk relating to lower levels of exposure, particularly that of the order of background radiation.
“This is particularly relevant to some areas of Aberdeenshire, with high levels of exposure to naturally radioactive radon gas’ says Dr Wakeford. “Breathing in radon gas while at home is likely to be the highest exposure to radiation that will be experienced by most people. It is well worthwhile having your home checked for radon levels, especially if you reside in a high radon area. If testing shows that the radon level is high there are measures that can be taken to reduce them. Radon is the second largest cause of lung cancer, after cigarette smoking.
“The available scientific evidence supports the current assumption of radiation protection that even low levels of exposure pose some small risk. This is a cautious approach that we should prudently retain.”
Director of Sales and Marketing at AECC, Louise Lonie, commented: “We look forward to hosting this prominent conference in Aberdeen, enhancing the spring/summer calendar; featuring international conferences such as DEVEX held at the venue last week, the European Conference on Information retrieval last month and the return of the OCEANS conference to the city in June. This UK event is another to benefit from subvention funding from VisitAberdeenshire and match-funded by VisitScotland which is a fantastic tool in attracting events to the region.”
For further information please contact AECC’s PR & Marketing Manager Sarah Coutts, [email protected] or 01224 330460.
Additional information on SRP
Dr Richard Wakeford is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Radiological Protection (JRP) and is a SRP Honorary Fellow. He received BSc and PhD degrees from the University of Liverpool and then joined British Nuclear Fuels Ltd (BNFL). Retiring from BNFL in 2006 he is now Professor in Epidemiology at The University of Manchester. He is a member of a number of national and international expert committees.
His lecture ‘What do we know about low-level radiation risks?’ will be given at 14.00 on Thursday 18 May in the Fleming Auditorium, AECC. Accredited journalists who wish to attend should contact the SRP’s Media Officer, Brian Gornall [email protected] mobile 07836 667163.
The Society for Radiological Protection, founded in 1963 and granted a Royal Charter in 2007, has over 2,200 members all involved with the safety aspects relating to the use of ionising and non-ionising radiation. It is committed to promoting the science and art of radiation protection for the public benefit.
The SRP’s patron is the Lord Carlile of Berriew CBE QC The annual conference at the AECC will have an associated exhibition by over 30 suppliers of equipment and services to the profession. A record number of entrants will compete for the UK Young Professionals Award, offering a cash prize and a chance to speak at the next European radiation protection congress in The Hague in 2018.
More information on the conference is available at https://srp-uk.org/events/srp17
More information contact
Brian Gornall, SRP Media Officer, Mobile: 07836 667163, Email: [email protected]
Additional information on AECC and SMG:
SMG turns 40 in 2017!
Celebrating its 40th anniversary and founded in 1977, SMG provides management services to 233 public assembly facilities including convention and exhibition centres, arenas, stadiums, theatres, performing arts centres, amphitheatres, equestrian facilities, science centres and a variety of other venues.
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In Europe, SMG is the UK’s biggest arena venue manager and operates Manchester Arena, first direct Arena Leeds, Metro Radio Arena Newcastle and AECC as well as a number of theatres and smaller venues. The European group also includes CGC Event Caterers which manages event hospitality and catering for in-house venues and external clients across Europe.
SMG also offers food and beverage operations through its concessions and catering companies, currently serving more than 140 accounts worldwide. For more information visit www.smgworld.com.