Assessment of the radiation dose to population & development of a national information system related to radiation (PRISMA)

The 3-year institutional project PRISMA was implemented by EEAE under the national program “Development Proposals of Research Institutions - KRIPIS”, co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (NSRF 2007-2013). PRISMA was successfully completed in late 2015, substantially contributing to the upgrading and development of the regulatory framework for radiation protection and radiological and nuclear safety.

The goal of the project was to further improve the radiation protection system in Greece. Its main objective was the development of a methodology for the assessment of the overall radiation dose received by the population as a result of exposure to naturally and artificially produced radiation.

The average annual radiation dose in Greece was estimated to be 4.5 mSv, with 1.8 mSv corresponding to medical exposure and 2.7 mSv corresponding to natural sources of radiation.

The average annual radiation dose from medical applications was estimated by performing dose measurements in medical radiation laboratories all over the country and collecting the number of medical practices annually carried out per type of practice.

The average annual radiation dose from natural sources was estimated through sampling and measurements of various samples (building materials, soil, water, food, etc.), as well as by radon concentration measurements in residences all over Greece.

PRISMA also enabled EEAE for the first time to investigate applications of artificially produced ultraviolet radiation, namely artificially tanning services (solarium), as such radiation has been classified as carcinogenic by the World Health Organization. The investigation indicated that ultraviolet radiation limits were exceeded in the two thirds of the measured equipment and highlighted the need for surveillance of the artificial tanning services. In order to regulate the provision of artificial tanning services in Greece and given the lack of related legislation, EEAE has prepared a draft legislative framework.

At the same time, a web-based platform has been designed and developed for the collection and disposition of data, which is now the “web profile” of the radiation protection system in Greece. Its main characteristic is the direct access to information related to radiation applications and the direct communication  between citizens and EEAE through online services. Besides the improvements to existing digital services, the following new services have been developed:

  • map of Greece with the radon concentrations;
  • online submission of annual data for diagnostic and treatment practices;
  • online submission of data for the determination of the national Diagnostic Reference Levels;
  • online submission of applications to the personal dosimetry program;
  • online access to the doses of occupationally exposed to ionizing radiation workers;
  • information for artificial tanning enterprises.

In addition, a document management software was purchased and tailored to EEAE needs; the building infrastructure was also improved aiming at energy upgrading and improvement of working conditions.

As to the dissemination of the project results:

  • public information events were held in Athens (15/10 and 11/12), Thessaloniki (02/12), Ioannina (24/11), Irakleio (16/11), Kavala (08/12) and Cyprus (4/12);
  • information material was produced covering the following fields: radon, medical exposure to radiation, risks from exposure to artificial ultraviolet radiation (solarium), personal dosimetry;
  • EEAE newsletter was set up.

PRISMA project was supported by a funding of €1.031.600. The implementation of the project was achieved through the cooperation of all EEAE departments and the majority of its personnel, whilst 3 new posts were created. It is estimated that 523 person - months were required for the completion of the project.

The actions that started under PRISMA project shall be continued by EEAE, mainly targeting to the monitoring and optimization of the radiation protection system in Greece and the regular estimation of the doses received by the population.