Spanish Radiation
Protection Society
   


Presentation  
Leopoldo Arranz
IRPA Vice-President for Congress Affairs
Chairperson of International Congress Organising Committee

 
The Spanish Society of Radiological Protection (SEPR) organised the 11th International Congress of the International Radiation Protection Association in Madrid, under the presidence of the Honorary Committee of His Majesty the King Juan Carlos I, the week of May 23rd, 2004. More than 1,330 participants from 78 countries contributed to the unqualified success of IRPA11, representing the widest participation of any IRPA Congress.
 
 
IRPA11 Opening Ceremony
 
The organisers of the first Congress of the third millennium, IRPA 11, have had the ambition -expressed in the theme of the congress "Widening the Radiation Protection World"- of demystifying our principles to make them more understandable even for non experts, as radiation protection culture should be the responsibility of each of us.

A key feature of each IRPA International Congress since 1973 has been the presentation of the Sievert Award in memory of the radiation protection pioneer, Rolf M. Sievert. The recipient must have made outstanding contributions in the field of radiation protection. This year the award went to Abel Gonzalez, Division Head for Radiation, Transport and Waste Safety, IAEA.
Before receiving the award, Abel presented the Sievert award lecture. As Geoff Webb noted in his closing remarks at the end of the Congress, this was a highlight of the meeting, "lively, comprehensive and challenging".
 
The organisers of the first Congress of the third millennium, IRPA 11, have had the ambition -expressed in the theme of the congress "Widening the Radiation Protection World"- of demystifying our principles to make them more understandable even for non experts, as radiation protection culture should be the responsibility of each of us.

A key feature of each IRPA International Congress since 1973 has been the presentation of the Sievert Award in memory of the radiation protection pioneer, Rolf M. Sievert. The recipient must have made outstanding contributions in the field of radiation protection. This year the award went to Abel Gonzalez, Division Head for Radiation, Transport and Waste Safety, IAEA. Before receiving the award, Abel presented the Sievert award lecture.

 
 
Abel Gonzalez presenting the Sievert Lecture
As Geoff Webb noted in his closing remarks at the end of the Congress, this was a highlight of the meeting, "lively, comprehensive and challenging".
 
Beginning with IRPA10, the Gold Medal for Radiation Protection of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is also presented during the opening session of the International Congress. The Gold Medal was established in 1962 and is given to persons who have made highly valuable contributions to international radiation protection work during the preceding 10 year period. The award for IRPA11 was given to Sir Richard Doll for his long standing contributions in research on ionizing and non-ionizing radiation.
 
Under the structure of nine major Scientific Thematic Areas, five Plenary Sessions were organised, being specially important the presentation of the ICRP Proposals for the 21st Century, after a profound and participatory process. Sixteen Refresher Courses were programmed with the attendance of 715 congress participants, and 15 Keynote Lectures presented an overview on those topics of particular interest to the Radiation Protection Community. Is noticeable that there were about 1200 contributions to the Scientific Sessions, where 60 contributions were selected for oral presentations and the rest were exhibited in the Poster Viewing Sessions.
 
The IRPA business were conducted during a forum for representatives of the IRPA Associate Societies on Tuesday afternoon, and the General Assembly on Wednesday afternoon. During the General Assembly, Geoff Webb presented a comprehensive President's Report of the IRPA activities, issues and accomplishments for the period 2000 to 2004. The General Assembly also approved the IRPA Code of Ethics that has been developed since IRPA10 in Hiroshima. The approval endorses the use of the Code of Ethics by the Associate Societies, either by adopting it directly or using it as a basis for a modified individual Associate Society Code. The General Assembly was the occasion for selection of the venue for IRPA12. The winning bid from a strong set of three proposals, including Glasgow, Scotland and Helsinki, Finland was Buenos Aires, Argentina (October, 2008).
 
In parallel to the scientific programme, the largest Technical Exhibition of IRPA Congresses were organised, with 50 exhibitors in 68 stands. This provided the communication among congress attendants and the most important technical and industrial companies and the opportunity to present last products, services and technological advances in this field.
 
 
The International Congress Organising Committee (ICOC)
 
To facilitate the participation of young specialists and scientists, specially from development countries, the Organising Committee created an special committee, the International Congress Support Committee (ICSC) to manage the applicants and the whole financial support available. This financial support was provided by IAEA, WHO, PAHO, Spanish Ministry of Health and Consumer Affairs, and from Nordic, French, German-Swiss, Italian, Dutch, Japan, USA and Spanish Radiation Protection Societies. More than 70 scientists from 29 countries (36% from Latin America, 33% from Europe and 31% from the rest of the world) received this support.ll.
 
The Congress also featured a rich social programme, beginning on Sunday night with a Welcome Cocktail. This was followed on Tuesday with a magnificent Spanish ballet and music concert, and concluded with a very memorable Congress dinner.

The final acts of the Congress were the transfer of the IRPA flag to Abel Gonzalez, Vice President for Congress Affairs for IRPA12, and the closure of the Congress as Phil Metcalf rang the Polvani bell.

 
 
Geoff Webb presents the Outstanding Service Award
to Annie Sugier
 
I would like to express my deepest appreciation for the untiring efforts of the 33 members of the International Congress Programme Committee (ICPC), the 15 members of the International Congress Organising Committee (ICOC), the 10 members of the International Congress Support Committee (ICSC), the IRPA Executive Council and the sponsoring organisations - The Ministry of Health and Consumer Affairs, the Spanish Nuclear Safety Council (CSN), the Regional Government of Madrid, the Madrid Council, the Spanish National Radioactive Waste Management Company (ENRESA), the National Research Centre for Energy, Technology and Environment (CIEMAT), The Spanish Electric Industry Association (UNESA), The Advanced Industries Company (ENUSA) - and the collaborating international organisations IAEA, WHO and PAHO. All of them have made IRPA 11 a success!
 
Finally, I wish to thank to Annie Sugier and to Eduardo Gallego, who have supported all the Scientific Programme, to Geoff Webb and to Jacques Lochard, whose suggestions have let to correct our mistakes, and all members of the Spanish Radiation Protection Society (SEPR) headed by its president, Pedro Carboneras, who have worked, collaborated and suffered in this project during more than 4 years.

I hope you will find in these pages a good reference for your future work in the coming years. Bookmark it now!

 
 
Eduardo Gallego acknowledges appreciation of IRPA11 participants