Medical Radiology and Radiation Safety. 2021. Vol. 66. № 4. P. 113–121

Radiation and Environmental Aspects of Advanced Nuclear Energy

I.I. Linge, S.S. Utkin

Nuclear Safety Institute, Moscow, Russia

Contact person: Utkin Sergey S: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The article focuses on the role of radiation criteria and its evolution in the structure of arguments underlying the establishment, operation and development of nuclear energy. It demonstrates that the dominant role of radiation criteria should be reconsidered to allow broader consideration of environmental and other factors associated with sustainable development.

Based on in-depth analysis of certain aspects relevant for the mutual development of nuclear energy and radiation and environmental safety requirements, the paper shows that fully-fledged regulatory and technological systems have been deployed to date to ensure the radiation safety of workers and the public: these systems cover all the tasks required to be addressed to limit the technogenic exposure under normal operation. At the same time, an unprecedented gap was noticed between the actual role of radiation factor across human health risks and its perception by the overwhelming part of society.

In the near future (some hundred years), urgent tasks in the field of radiation safety will be driven, on the one hand, by the need to ensure the internal consistency of the national security system addressing health risks in general, and on the other, by global processes in the world economy associated with slow growth in energy demand, rapid reduction in the share of fossil fuels in almost all sectors of the economy among the developed countries, including transport, growing general environmental trends towards material recycling and decarbonization. The study shows what should be the attitude to radiation risks so that the nuclear energy could successfully meet the requirements arising from these trends. In this regard, the paper also provides some rational interpretation of the principle suggesting that no undue burden should be imposed on future generations.

Key words: nuclear energy, radiation safety, environmental safety, sustainable development, energy efficiency, decarbonization, future generations

For citation:  Linge II, Utkin SS.  Radiation and Environmental Aspects of Advanced Nuclear Energy. Medical Radiology and Radiation Safety. 2021;66(5):113-121.

DOI: 10.12737/1024-6177-2021-66-5-113-121


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Conflict of interest. The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Financing. The study had no sponsorship.

Contribution. Article was prepared with equal participation of the authors.

Article received: 23.12.2020. 

Accepted for publication: 20.01.2021.