Vanmarcke UNSCEAR Chairman

15/07/2016

On 1 July, Hans Vanmarcke, Head of Research at SCK-CEN, the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre based in Mol and Professor of Medicine at KU Leuven, was selected as Chairman of UNSCEAR, the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, for a two-year term.

UNSCEAR, the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, will be chaired by the Belgian Hans Vanmarcke. This selection is the result of a long procedure and is based on various qualities demonstrated by the new Chairman and which primarily include his interdisciplinarity. Although he has a PhD in physics, he also has a great deal of knowledge and competence in biology. Furthermore, he is in charge of 2 expert groups for the SCK-CEN: the first entitled "Radiological Impact and Performance Studies" and the second "Molecular and Cellular Biology". And finally, since 2008, he has been head of the Belgian delegation of UNSCEAR and is the representative of Belgium.

The committee is appointed by the General Assembly of the United Nations and brings together 27 member countries. Governments rely on UNSCEAR's reports to assess radiation risk and take the necessary measures. As was the case following Chernobyl and Fukushima. Since its creation in 1955, UNSCEAR has drafted 20 important studies.

The prestigious nomination of Hans Vanmarcke represents recognition of Belgium and the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre in Mol. In particular, it demonstrates the centre's objective to use its expertise and knowledge for the protection against radiation and nuclear safety around the world.

In 2015, Hans Vanmarcke was appointed Vice Chairman of UNSCEAR. He will take up his duties as Chairman on 1 January 2017 for a 2-year period.