This page contains links to some radioecolological project websites that may be of interest.
The ‘CONCERT-European Joint Programme for the Integration of Radiation Protection Research’ under Horizon 2020 aims to contribute to the sustainable integration of European and national research programmes in radiation protection. CONCERT as a co-fund action strives to achieve the attraction and pooling of national research efforts in Radiation Protection with EURATOM research programmes in order to make better use of public R&D resources and to tackle common European challenges in radiation protection more effectively by joint research efforts in key areas. In order to rise to this challenge CONCERT is operating as an umbrella structure for the research initiatives of the radiation protection research platforms MELODI, ALLIANCE, NERIS, EURADOS and EURAMED. Outputs from all the CONCERT funded projects are avaiable from here.
CONCERT funded projects
The H2020 CONFIDENCE Project aimed to close existing gaps in several areas of emergency management and long-term rehabilitation. It concentrated on the early and transition phases of an emergency, but considers also longer-term decisions made during these phases. The project brought together expertise from all four Radiation Protection Platforms and also from Social Sciences and Humanities, such that it could address the scientific challenges associated with model uncertainties and improve radioecological predictions and emergency management (NERIS and ALLIANCE), situation awareness and monitoring strategies (EURADOS), risk estimation in the early phase (MELODI), decision making and strategy development at local and national levels (NERIS) including social and ethical aspects (Social Sciences and Humanities).
This LDLensRad project aimed to address a number of key research questions on radiation effects on the ocular lens, including: how does low dose radiation cause cataracts; is there a dose rate effect, and how does genetic background influence cataract development after radiation exposure.
TERRITORIES aimed "To Enhance unceRtainties Reduction and stakeholders Involvement TOwards integrated and graded Risk management of humans and wildlife In long-lasting radiological Exposure Situations". It was built in the aftermath of the publication in 2014 of IAEA and European Basic Safety Standards, and upon the lessons learned in the recent international experience, mainly after the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear accident.
ENGAGE seeked to identify and address key difficulties and opportunities for stakeholder engagement in three fields of exposure to ionising radiation (i) medical use of ionising radiation (ii) post-accident exposures and (iii) exposure to indoor radon.
The LEU-TRACK project studied basic mechanisms in low dose radiation-induced leukaemia by focusing on the role of crosstalk between the bone marrow microenvironment and the stem cell compartment in initiating the leukemic process.
Personal Online DosImetry Using computational Methods (PODIUM)” was a research project to improve occupational dosimetry by an innovative approach: the development of an online dosimetry application based on computer simulations, which will calculate individually the occupational doses, without the use of physical dosimeters.
SEPARATE - Systemic Effects of Partial-body Exposure to Low Radiation Doses.
VERIDIC - Validation and Estimation of Radiation skIn Dose in Interventional Cardiology.
SHAMISEN-SINGS, building on the recommendations of the EC-OPERRA funded SHAMISEN project, aimed to enhance Citizen Participation in preparedness for and recovery from a radiation accident through novel tools and APPs to support data collection on radiation measurements, health and well-being indicators.
Projects not funded under CONCERT
The Innovating the Chernobyl Landscape: Environmental Assessment for Rehabilitation and Management (iCLEAR) project is panning the future of land Aaandoned after the Chernobyl accident. The UK and Ukrainian research teams work together to develop a stakeholder-informed Environmental Management Information System which will provide the end users with clear answers to the key scientific questions necessary for evaluation of management options. This will include an evaluation of the spatial distribution of present and future risk of radiation to humans and wildlife and determination of the spatial distribution of resources in the Chernobyl Exclusion zone.
TREE - TRansfer - Exposure – Effects
The TREE project was one of three consortia funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the Environment Agency (EA) and Radioactive Waste Management Limited (RWM) under the Radioactivity And The Environment (RATE) programme. The overall objective of the project was to reduce uncertainty in estimating the risk to humans and wildlife associated with exposure to radioactivity and to reduce unnecessary conservatism in risk calculations. This was achieved through four interlinked science components beginning with improving our understanding of the biogeochemical behaviour of radionuclides in soils through to studying the transgenerational effects of ionising radiation exposure on wildlife. Studies combined controlled laboratory experiments with fieldwork; most of which took place in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (CEZ).
In July 2016 there was a severe fire in the Red Forest when approximately 80% of the forest was burnt, the RED FIRE (Radioactive Environment Damaged by Fire) project conducted studies in the Red Forest over the year after the fire.
RADIOACTIVITY AND THE ENVIRONMENT (RATE)
The high level goal of the RADIOACTIVITY AND THE ENVIRONMENT (RATE) programme was to build UK capacity in radioactivity and the environment, so that a major contribution to enhancement of environmental protection and a safeguarding of human health from releases of radioactivity from nuclear power plants, waste repositories and legacy-contaminated sites, as well as natural radiation, can be made. Three research consortia were funded under the RATE programme: (i) Hydromechanical and biogeochemical processes in fractured rock masses in the vicinity of a geological disposal facility for radioactive waste (Hydroframe) (ii) Long-lived radionuclides in the surface environment (LO-RISE): mechanistic studies of speciation, environmental transport and transfer and (iii) TRansfer – Exposure – Effects (TREE): integrating the science needed to underpin radioactivity assessments for humans and wildlife. A RATE Knowledge Exchange Fellowship was funded to disseminate the extensive research conducted within the RATE programme.
The EC EURATOM Framework 6 funded PROTECT project set out to develop dose rate thresholds for wildlife to help to determine the risk of exposure to ionising radiation. Without such criteria any radiological protection framework for the environment cannot be applied usefully in a regulatory context. The PROTECT consortium consisted of five organisations: Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UK), Environment Agency (England and Wales), IRSN (France), Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority (Norway) and the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (Sweden).
The two major outputs of the FP6 EURATOM funded project ERICA were the ERICA Integrated Approach and the ERICA Tool. The Integrated Approach seeks to combine exposure/dose/effect assessment with risk characterisation and managerial considerations. The use of the Integrated Approach is facilitated by the ERICA Tool, which is a software programme that guides the user through the various steps, keeps records and communicates with a number of purpose-built databases.
Funded under the EC EURATOM 5th Framework programme the FASSET Framework included the following fundamental elements: source characterisation; description of seven major European ecosystems; selection of a number of reference organisms on the basis of prior ecosystem and exposure analysis; environmental transfer analysis; dosimetric considerations; effects analysis; and, as an integral part of these steps, general guidance on interpretation, includingconsideration of uncertainties and possibilities to extrapolate from existing data to areas where data are absent or scarce. The project used existing information, supplemented by the development of models, by performing Monte Carlo calculations to derive dose conversion coefficients, and by building an effects database (FRED, the FASSET Radiation Effects Database). The outputs of the FASSET project were subsequently improved and incorporated into the ERICA Integrated Approach.
Funded by the EC Inco-Copernicus Programme the EPIC project: i) collated information relating to the environmental transfer and fate of selected radionuclides through aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems in the Arctic; ii) suggested reference Arctic biota; iii) develop a set of reference dose models for reference Arctic biota; iv) compiled of data on dose-effects relationships and assessments of potential radiological consequences for reference Arctic biota. The project worked closely with the FASSET consortium developing some joint databases.
The EAGLE project was a Euratom FP7 "coordination action" of 3 years, launched under the work programme 2012 which helped identify and disseminate good practices in information and communication processes related to ionising radiation. Final results are shown in the deliverables.
RADIOLOGICAL PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT - SHARING KNOWLEDGE
Radiological protection of the environment - sharing knowledge. This wiki site was developed under a UK NERC funded Knowledge Exchange project to develop training packages (including on-line training materials) on radiological environmental assessment. The pages include information on international and national activities on radiation protection of the environment. They also contain information on all the outputs of the EURATOM projects with have developed the tools and concepts for application in the field of radiation protection of the environment: PROTECT, ERICA, FASSET and EPIC. The pages contain links to radiological environmental assessment tools (software and spreadsheet models) which are freely available to any user. You can use this site to ask questions about approaches being used/developed to demonstration protection of the environment.
The aim of the Freebird (Fukushima Radiation Exposure and Effects in BIRD populations) project, launched in October 2011, was to study the effects of ionising radiation in birds in the contaminated zone situated 100 km around Fukushima for 18 months. This project was conducted by IRSN (Radionuclides Ecotoxicology Laboratory) with Arizona State University - Tempe (United States) and Tsukuba University (Japan) and aimed to determine whether links exist between the doses received by birds, observed physiological modifications and their consequences on reproduction. Further information is available from the link provided above and information on other research projects developed by IRSN are available here.
BIOPROTA was set up to address the key uncertainties in long term assessments of contaminant releases into the environment arising from radioactive waste disposal.
ENVIRONMENTAL RADIOACTIVITY NETWORK
The Environmental Radioactivity Network (Env-Rad-Net) is an STFC-funded global challenge network aimed at engaging the UK’s environmental radiochemistry research community to develop the use of STFC central facilities. In particular, synchrotron (Diamond Light Source), neutron (ISIS), laser (CLF), and computing techniques (SCD).
Please note that some of these projects may now have finished (and hence the tense of the text may be out of date) however, the websites still exist and are a potential useful resource.