Joint Roadmap for Radiation Protection in Europe

Integration into the European radiation protection research

The H2020 CONCERT European Joint Programme gave the opportunity to contribute to the integration of research across radiation protection, through the building of a joint research roadmap for Europe. This CONCERT initiative brought together the six European radiation protection research platforms: ALLIANCE,  MELODI - addressing health risks after exposure to low-dose ionising radiation radioecology, NERIS - nuclear and radiological emergency preparedness and response, EURADOS - radiation dosimetry, EURAMED - medical radiation protection and SHARE - social sciences and humanities in ionising radiation research.

The Joint Roadmap defines priority areas and strategic objectives for mutual co-operation across radiation protection and provides a vision for a European radiation protection research programme to 2030 and beyond. It presents joint research challenges in the context of existing and potential exposure scenarios, relevant from societal and radiation protection points of view. In regard to those scenarios, radioecological expertise is needed whenever ionising radiation within the environment is of potential concern for the exposure of humans and wildlife: human activities related to the nuclear energy applications; human activities related to the use of natural resources, containing naturally occurring radionuclides (Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials or Technically enhanced  NORM); nuclear legacy; natural radiation; nuclear or radiological accidents, incidents or malevolent acts, including their long-term consequences.

The identified joint research challenges cover many disciplines, requiring collaboration of research communities in addressing targeted ‘game changers’, defined as research issues that, when successfully resolved, have the potential to impact substantially and strengthen the system and/or practice of radiation protection for humans and/or the environment through 1) significantly improving the evidence base of risks, 2) developing principles and recommendations, 3) developing standards based on the recommendations and 4) improving practice (see Figure 1). 

Implementation of the Joint Research Roadmap will have impact on radiation protection for humans and wildlife in many ways, related to the drivers that justify research in radioecology and related sciences. The intersecting issues between the ALLIANCE SRA and the joint research challenges and game changers for radiation protection in Europe are illustrated in Figure 1 (click to expand).

ALLIANCE SRA linkages with the Joint Roadmap for radiation protection research

           

     (click figure to enlarge)

 

Figure 1: How the ALLIANCE SRA links with the Joint Roadmap for radiation protection research. ALLIANCE Challenges and Research Lines: blue lines (1.x to 3.x); Joint Roadmap research challenges and game changers: green columns (A.x to H.x); Cross-cutting areas (gray) and specific topics (x).