Radiation Protection Today - Spring 2022 - Page 7

70 Years of Radiation Protection

To coincide with the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II , we highlight some of the remarkable advances and events related to the uses and regulation of radiation and radioactive materials that have taken place during The Queen ' s reign .
There have been far too many events to include everything here , but this list hopefully highlights key points , as well as a few “ quirkier ” ones , from a range of sectors . The focus is on events in the UK , but some significant international events are also included . The print version of this article is necessarily concise , giving just years and events , but the online version is extended to include more details .
Sadly , not all events in the world of radiation have been happy ones . Atomic weapons testing and nuclear accidents are events many would rather had not happened . But there has also been a lot of good change . We are now better regulated and safer than when The Queen came to the throne in 1952 .
Although there were simple recommendations as far back as 1896 to avoid skin burns from X-rays , it took some time before the introduction of specific regulations covering radiation , which was initially included in general health and safety legislation .
The use of radiations in medicine has seen significant change . Major technological advancements have also been seen in communications , particularly since the development of mobile phones . This has resulted in higher exposures to electromagnetic fields ( EMFs ).
Use of civil nuclear power looks set to increase again , and a permanent solution for the management of higher activity nuclear waste still needs to be implemented . Advances in fusion research hold the promise of cleaner energy for future generations , but there remain challenges to be overcome . In all sectors , as technologies advance and lessons are learned , legislation will have to change too .
The Editor thanks all members of the Magazine Committee for their contributions to this article , and particularly Sam Watson , who pulled it all together .
If you feel something important has been missed out , why not get in touch ? Our email is RPToday @ srp-uk . org .
In 1977 Great Ormond Street Hospital acquired the UK ' s first paediatric computed tomography scanner , allowing researchers to capture detailed images of the living brain . Here The Queen is given a demonstration during her Silver Jubilee tour . ( Archive Service , Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust )
Radiation Protection Today Summer 2022 7