Workshop Report/Summary

Adopting the International System of Units for Radiation Measurements in the United States: Proceedings of a Workshop (2017)

Most countries in the world use the SI (Système International, also known as the metric system) units for radiation measurements in commercial and technical activities. The United States, in contrast, uses a mix of SI and conventional units for radiation measurements, despite 30-year-old national and international recommendations to exclusively use SI. Radiation professionals in the United States are faced with the need to understand both systems and make conversions between the two.

Several post-Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident reports noted that the use of conventional units in the United States and the need to convert to/from SI hindered the exchange and interpretation of information during the accident response. The experience from the Fukushima nuclear accident led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ask the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (National Academies) to host a workshop to obtain perspectives from the radiation protection and user communities on potential communication improvements associated with adopting SI units for radiation measurements in the United States. The workshop was held September 29-30, 2016, at the National Academies in Washington, DC.

This proceedings has been prepared by the workshop rapporteur as a factual summary of what occurred at the workshop. The views contained in the proceedings are those of individual workshop participants and do not necessarily represent the views of all workshop participants or the National Academies.