ERICA is an integrated approach to assess the biological impacts of radiation to non-human biota. The ERICA Integrated Approach combines elements of environmental management, risk characterisation and impact assessment. Central to the ERICA integrated approach is the quantification of risk to wildlife whereby data on environmental transfer and dosimetry are combined to provide a measure of exposure which is compared to exposure levels at which detrimental effects are known to occur in individual organisms of non-human biota. In view of the large data sets underpinning the assessment approach and the potential to introduce errors when performing numerous calculations by hand, a supporting computer-based tool (the ERICA Tool) was developed.
The ERICA Assessment Tool is free to download and use.
The assessment element of the ERICA Integrated Approach is organised in to three separate tiers, where satisfying certain criteria in Tiers 1 and 2 allows the user to exit the assessment while being confident that the effects on biota individual organisms are low or negligible. Tier 3 provides the ability to consider situation of concern in more detail. The ERICA Tool is a user friendly software programme that implements the tiered approach and guides the user through the assessment process, recording information and decisions and allows the necessary calculations to be performed to estimate risks to selected biota.
With a long standing interest in environmental protection from ionizing radiation and its initial promotion of many of the concept and ideas that led to the development of reference approaches for assessing impacts, the IUR continues to support further developments on methods dealing with quantifying risks to wildlife, especially through improvement of the conceptualization towards assessing ecological impacts supported by ecosystem approaches. Recognising that assessment of the biological impact of radiation to wildlife forms a substantial contribution to environment protection, as demonstrated by the wide application enjoyed by the ERICA Tool, the IUR endorses its use and application for screening assessments associated with routine releases and potentially within the context of meeting regulatory requirements.
Link to the tool: http://www.erica-tool.com/