Radiation protection and nuclear safety

Nuclear safety is the achievement of proper operating conditions, prevention of accidents or mitigation of accident sequences of nuclear plants, resulting in protection of the workers, the public and the environment from undue radiation hazards. The achievement of these proper operating conditions involves nuclear safety considerations throughout the life of the facility and at the conceptual phase of a nuclear plant so that safety and operation of the facility can be optimised. Radiation protection on the other hand involves protecting people from the effects of ionising radiation exposure and the means for such protection. It covers a spectrum of issues and overlaps with nuclear safety. It also requires consideration from the conceptual phase of a project, and involves optimising protection of personnel during operation and any necessary exposure to radiation.

The European Atomic Energy Community, in short EURATOM, ensures that Europe's nuclear plants are operated safely and has introduced safeguards to achieve radiation protection and nuclear safety. Also on a national level, legislation exists to achieve these goals.