There are ongoing social debates about the risks and benefits of using nuclear reactors to generate electricity. Radiation accidents can occur for different reasons and even be caused deliberately as a result of terrorist actions, and these may affect from a few to thousands of people. After a major release of radioactive iodine as a result of a nuclear accident, large number of potentially affected people may require rapid assessments to determine the degree of thyroid contamination, especially children and young people given that their thyroid is a highly radiosensitive organ and particularly vulnerable to the carcinogenic action of ionising radiation. To date, there is no internationally agreed protocol for measuring 131I in the thyroid of affected persons, especially in children. To address this problem, the Child and Adult Thyroid Monitoring After Reactor Accident (CAThyMARA) project (https://www.eu-neris.net/projects/operra/operra-cathymara.html) focused on post-accidental 131I measurements in the thyroid, giving special attention to children and involved 15 institutions from 12 European countries. One of the Work Packages of the project had the objective to overview existing national plans and means for thyroid monitoring and to review international recommendations about radioiodine monitoring in the thyroid in case of a large scale nuclear accident. To achieve this objective, a questionnaire-based survey was carried out from May to October 2016. The survey results were based on the analysis of the answers of 31 institutions in 18 European countries, which included a wide range of questions related to emergency plan strategies, monitoring strategies for radioiodine in thyroid, dose assessment, etc. In addition, the peer-review literature in this area was reviewed and summarised. The results of the survey together with the current international recommendations about radioiodine monitoring in thyroid could provide important information on existing gaps, which can be used to develop new or update existing guidelines on thyroid monitoring after a nuclear accident.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
To the European Community for funding this project under the OPERRA (Open Project for the European Radiation Research Area) grant agreement 604984. Authors would like to thank Dr Zhanat Carr (World Health Organization) for the thorough review and revision of this manuscript.
To the European Community for funding this project under the OPERRA (Open Project for the European Radiation Research Area) grant agreement 604984 .
- Children thyroid exposure
- Radiological and nuclear emergencies
- Thyroid monitoring
- Thyroid monitoring strategies