Finland has been elected as a member of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR). The Committee publishes summaries of scientific studies on the levels of, exposure to and the adverse health effects of ionizing radiation. For example, the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) bases its recommendations on UNSCEAR's risk assessments.
During the membership negotiations, research director Sisko Salomaa from STUK – Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, Finland – has acted as an observer in the UNSCEAR. Depending on the matter under consideration a number of experts are involved in its work.
"Through the years, Finland has conscientiously provided UNSCEAR with national data, and Finnish research publications have been cited extensively in UNSCEAR’s reports. During the observation period our cooperation has deepened further. STUK has participated in the development of a European database for the monitoring of radiation doses to patients, and this technology can also be used globally. Another important topic is internal exposure to radioactive substances, which we are familiar with especially concerning uranium, because there are higher levels of uranium in the drinking water of Finland than in the drinking water of the rest of the world. Currently we are also participating in compiling a report on Fukushima, particularly with regard to the employees' exposure to radiation and adverse health effects from radiation. A summary of the topic will be given to the UN General Assembly next year." says Sisko Salomaa.
UNSCEAR was established in 1955 and it reports directly to the UN General Assembly. 21 states are long-standing members of UNSCEAR. Six new members were elected now: Finland, Belarus, Ukraine, the Republic of Korea, Spain and Pakistan. The new member states will each appoint their representative to the Committee.