NCRP Releases Guidance for Radiation Protection in the United States

On February 4, 2019, the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) announced the newest guidance for radiation protection in the United States with the publication of Report No. 180 titled, Management of Exposure to Ionizing Radiation: Radiation Protection Guidance for the United States (2018).

The report is intended to serve as a tool for those responsible for implementing radiation protection programs and developing regulations in the United States.

Interested stakeholders can purchase a copy of NCRP Report No. 180 at


NCRP Report No. 180 contains NCRP’s recommendations to guide active decision-making for radiation protection.  Key points for radiation protection in the NCRP guidance include:

  • the best protection guidelines are flexible and reflect current circumstances;
  • new topics are addressed that have emerged in the last 25 years; and,
  • medical use, stakeholder engagement, ethical values and safety culture are included and emphasized.

NCRP recommendations are intended to provide a basis for radiation protection programs in the United States.  Report No. 180 is primarily for federal and state agencies responsible for the well being of individuals exposed to ionizing radiation and those agencies with responsibility for protecting non-human biota from such sources.  The report also provides useful information for health physicists, medical physicists, physicians and other medical professionals, radiation safety officers, managers, workers, members of the public and the media.

Some of the categories of radiation protection that are discussed in NCRP Report No. 180 include:  medicine; worker safety and naturally occurring radioactive materials; public safety, including sensitive populations; environmental protection; emergency response; and, research and industry.

Issues and Analysis

NCRP Report No. 180 gives an integrated and coherent approach for radiation protection in all exposure situations.  The report states that optimization of protection universally applies, ensuring benefits from radiation taking into consideration societal, economic, and environmental aspects; addressing all hazards; and, striving for continuous improvement when it is reasonable to do so.

The report includes numeric criteria for individual dose management that provide an adequate basis for protection.  The recommended criteria are influenced by the type and knowledge of the source; the existence of an appropriate radiation control program; and, whether that program can be established in advance of introducing the source.

NCRP Report No. 180 also includes new topics that have emerged in the last 25 years and builds on the many NCRP recommendations issued since the previous recommendations in Report No. 116, which was issued in 1993.  The treatment of medical exposure is significantly expanded, including optimization for patients; coverage of comforters and caregivers; and, biomedical research participants.  Emergency workers are defined as a new category of exposure and NCRP recommends that they be handled separately from occupational exposure or public protection.  Protection of the environment, including non-human biota, is covered with recommendations to support decision-making under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

Ethical values, stakeholder engagement and safety culture are emphasized as contributing to radiation protection decisions and practice in addition to the knowledge of human biological effects of ionizing radiation.  Ethical values support decision-making in complex situations.  Stakeholders are key in making decisions concerning the management of their radiation exposure and the achievement of sustainable and suitable decisions.  A strong safety culture is intrinsic to effective radiation protection programs.


NCRP is a Congressionally chartered body that seeks to formulate and widely disseminate information, guidance and recommendations on radiation protection and measurements which represent the consensus of leading scientific thinking.

For additional information about NCRP, interested stakeholders may contact Laura Atwell, Director of Operations, at (301) 657-2652 (ext. 18) or at or go to

Four New Members Named to Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards

In late June 2016, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced that the agency has appointed four new members to the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) for four-year terms effective June 12, 2016.

  • The ACRS—which is comprised of a group of experienced technical experts—advises the Commission, independently from the NRC staff, on safety issues related to the licensing and operation of nuclear power plants, as well as issues of health physics and radiation protection.

The new ACRS members include:

  •   Margaret Sze-Tai Chu: 
 Chu is a consultant to international and domestic clients on nuclear waste management, nuclear fuel cycle analysis, nonproliferation technologies and nuclear materials management.  She has more than 30 years of experience working on issues related to the nuclear fuel cycle, with an emphasis on risk assessment and performance assessment as applied to nuclear waste management.  Chu was Director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management from 2002 to 2005.  Before that, she had a long career with Sandia National Laboratory that included directing the lab’s Nuclear Waste Management Center and acting as Senior Manager of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) program at Sandia. 
Chu holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Purdue University and a Doctorate in Physical Chemistry from the University of Minnesota.  She serves on the DOE Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee and the National Academies’ Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board.  Chu is the second woman to serve on the ACRS, and this marks the first time two women have served on the committee simultaneously.


  •   Walter Kirchner:  Kirchner retired in June 2015 from the Argonne National Laboratory.  While at Argonne, he served as an Institutional Liaison Manager following, analyzing, and advising Argonne’s leaders on science and technology policy and programmatic developments in the DOE, other federal agencies and Congress.  He began his career as a Reactor Operator/Engineering Officer on the N.S. Savannah before joining the staff at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).  During his 29 years at LANL, he held division and group leader line management positions in construction project management, defense programs, nuclear reactor design and safety projects, and applied energy research and development activities.  Kirchner’s technical expertise is in nuclear reactor design, thermal-hydraulics and nuclear reactor safety.  He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Engineering from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


  •   Jose March-Leuba:  March-Leuba is the Principal of MRU, which specializes on measurements, regulatory and uncertainty analysis, and an Associate Professor in the Nuclear Engineering Department of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  He began his career at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he did research into noise analysis and dynamic modeling, as well as running tests to determine the stability of commercial boiling water reactors.  He also developed and installed instrumentation in Russian facilities to monitor the down-blending of highly enriched uranium.  During his 37-year career as a Nuclear Engineer, March-Leuba developed expertise in reactor thermal hydraulics and dynamics, reactor instrumentation and control and protection systems, software development and testing, and instrumentation development for international safeguards.  March-Leuba has a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering from the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia in Spain, as well as an M.S. and Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.


  •   Matthew Sunseri:  Sunseri is an Independent Nuclear Industry Consultant with more than 35 years of experience in the safe operation of large commercial reactors.  Prior to starting his own executive consulting practice, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corporation.  Sunseri has a wide range of experience in the operation, maintenance, engineering, oversight and security of the nation’s commercial nuclear power fleet.  He started his career as a Nuclear Engineer assigned to the construction, licensing, startup and operation of the Comanche Peak nuclear power plant.  Sunseri earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Nuclear Engineering from Texas A&M University and is a graduate of the Advanced General Management Program at Northwestern University and the Directors Institute at Emory University.

All member biographies are available on the NRC web site at

For additional information, please contact Maureen Conley of the NRC at (301) 415-8200.