Organized by CNESTEN in Rabat (Morocco) in the fall of 2008, this was the largest INSINUME conference of the series with 230 participants (of which 110 from abroad), representing a total of 43 countries with further official representation and support from both IUR and IAEA.
The 10 hot topics that have captured interest and prompted active discussion during the conference are as follows:
- A new approach in the protection of the total environment was in front of many subjects, specifically the ecosystem concept, which present a clear shift in radioecological research from the protection of humans only to the protection of the total environment.
- Management of environmental crises, also illustrated on the social and economic impacts of the Chernobyl accident, is of growing interest due to global economical developments having also global environmental aspects.
- In situ technologies, developed for both the terrestrial and aquatic environments have been well mastered and widely applied in environmental research, even in such exotic areas as viticulture.
- Emergency response plans, safety standards for radiation protection of the public and the environment, development of national and regional infrastructures and their integration into an European emergency system has been stressed as an important prerequisite for a wider public acceptance of nuclear energy.
- Radionuclide tracing of climate change and other environmental processes, including processes in humans, have been recognised as important topics for future development of radioecological research.
- Environmental impact of uranium mining, as well as of various NORM industries, has been minimalised if effective management has been in force to protect the environment against radionuclide contamination.
- Radionuclide transfer studies in the total environment, including modelling approaches, still require much more work to be done for their better understanding.
- New developments in radiochemical, radiometrics and mass spectrometry techniques, including analysis of microparticles, have opened doors for new research which was not possible before either because of lack of sensitivity or availability of suitable samples.
- Data quality management, development of reference materials and their utilisation in everyday laboratory work has been important pre-requisite for reporting meaningful results.
- Development of national and regional radionuclide databases and their availability via the Internet to the public is important not only for the internationalization of the radio ecological research but also for information of the public.
Contact: Dr. Rachid EL MRABET
International Organizing Committee Head
National Center of Energy, Sciences and Nuclear Techniques (CNESTEN), Rabat, Morocco.