Atomic Energy of Canada Limited

Science &
Technology

Health & Biological Applications

Research activities to further our understanding of the biological applications of nuclear research, including understanding the effects of exposure to ionizing radiation on the health of Canadians.

Federal priorities, commitments and goals

Overarching federal priorities and goals related to this theme area include:

  • Support the Health and Wellness of Canadians;
  • Improve understanding of radiological health risks caused by exposure to radiation at levels found in occupational and public environments;
  • Contribute to the body of evidence that informs the international radiation protection framework (e.g. The United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA));
  • Collect or generate evidence to inform the application of international recommendations in Canada and incorporation into Canadian regulations and national guidance;
  • Increase knowledge base in the uncertainties in low-dose risk assessment to address challenges in regulatory policy, health assessment and public communication;
  • Improve regulatory oversight of relevant sectors;
  • Improve communication to the public and stakeholders; and
  • Support science as an essential pillar in the strategy to create sustainable economic growth, including an appropriate balance between fundamental research to support new discoveries and the commercialization of ideas, that will lead to good jobs and sustainable economic growth.

Scope of Work

The scope of work in this theme area to address the federal priorities include:

Understanding the health effects of radiation

  • Understanding the basis of biological effectiveness of different radiations at low doses and dose rates
  • Understanding the mechanisms of radiation interaction with biological systems and radiation risk estimates at low doses and dose rates

Quantifying exposure to ionizing radiation

  • Improving biodosimetry methods and pursuing development of possible biomarkers for radiation induced diseases or effects for both internal and external exposure
  • Improving dose assessment methods for measuring internal exposure to alpha/beta radiation

Developing medical applications