Food Ingestion Standards for Nuclear Emergency Exposure Situations

  • Received : 2017.05.25
  • Accepted : 2017.08.03
  • Published : 2017.09.30


Background: This study presents food ingestion standards for radioactivity that can be applied in nuclear emergency exposure situations, and discusses the validity of the current domestic standards. Materials and Methods: This study derived food ingestion standards for radiocesium and radioiodine using domestic food intake rates and intervention levels, which serve as a basis for determining the necessity of public protective actions, and then compared them with the existing guidelines. Operational intervention levels were also derived using domestic food intake rates, and were compared with those of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Results and Discussion: The derived activity concentrations for food ingestion standards of radiocesium for infants were higher than those in the Act on Physical Protection and Radiological Emergency (APPRE) for all food categories, while for adults, the derived activity concentrations for drinking water and milk appeared to be slightly lower. The derived activity concentrations for vegetables, fruits, and grains were greater than those in the guidelines of the APPRE, while the derived activity concentrations for meat and seafood were similar to those in the APPRE. The derived activity concentrations for radioiodine were greater than both domestic and global standards. The calculated operational intervention levels (OILs) based on domestic food intake rates were greater than the IAEA's default OIL6 values for most radionuclides, except for a few ${\alpha}$-radionuclides. Conclusion: The current domestic guidelines turned out to be conservative overall, compared to the present results that were calculated using domestic food intake rates. It is recommended that the domestic guidelines should be revised and complemented transparently through an in-depth review by stakeholders on a solid scientific basis.


Supported by : National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF)


  1. International Commission on Radiological Protection. Application of the commission's recommendations for the protection of people in emergency exposure situations. ICRP Publication 109. 2009;22-37.
  2. International Commission on Radiological Protection. Application of the commission's recommendations to the protection of individuals living in long term contaminated territories after a nuclear accident or a radiation emergency. ICRP Publication 111. 2009;9-14.
  3. United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation. UNSCEAR 2008 reports to the general assembly with scientific annexes, Volume II. Scientific annexes D: Health effects due to radiation from the Chernobyl accident. UNSCEAR 2008 Report. 2011;60-61.
  4. International Atomic Energy Agency. Criteria for use in preparedness and response for a nuclear or radiological emergency. IAEA General Safety Guide No. GSG-2. 2011:11-50.
  5. Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives. Codex General standard for contaminants and toxins in food and feed. Codex STAN 193. 1995;56-60.
  6. Park SH. Safety management of radioactivity in food. The Korean Radiation Protection Association, Summer Workshop. Yesan, Korea. August 23-24, 2012.
  7. International Commission on Radiological Protection. Statement from the 1984 Meeting of the ICRP. ICRP Publication 40. 1984;38-39.
  8. World Health Organization. Derived intervention levels for radionuclides in foods-guidelines for application after widespread radioactive contamination resulting from a major accident. Geneva, Switzerland. WHO. 1988;17-20.
  9. International Commission on Radiological Protection. Principles for intervention for protection of the public in a radiological emergency. ICRP Publication 63. 1992:19-23.
  10. Hamada N, Ogino H. Food safety regulations: What we learned from the Fukushima nuclear accident. J. Environ. Radioact. 2012;111:83-99.
  11. Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety. Study for an improvement of INDAC (Integrated Dose Assessment Code Package). Technical Report, KINS/RR-808. 2011;74-78.
  12. International Commission on Radiological Protection. Assessing dose of the representative person for the purpose of radiation protection of the public. ICRP Publication 101. 2006:24-26.
  13. International Atomic Energy Agency. The Fukushima Daiichi accident, Technical Volume 3: Emergency preparedness and response. STI/PUB/1710. 2015;71-72.