The 3rd International Conference on Radioecology and Environmental Radioactivity has been quite successfully held in Barcelona, Spain, from 7 to 12 September 2014, with 430 participants from 46 countries. You can download here geographical statistics about participants.
Abstracts are available on the Conference website:
From left to right: François Bréchignac, President of IUR, Dep. Scientific Director at IRSN; Brit Salbu, IUR Vernadsky Award winner, Professor at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences; Per Strand, Director at NRPA
LIST OF THE CONFERENCE MAJOR ACHIEVEMENTS
IUR Radioecology FORUM started
The “FORUM”, a collective initiative prompted by IUR to promote worldwide harmonization of Radioecology networks, was launched on September 10th, 2014, on the occasion of the 3d ICRER conference held in Barcelona (Spain). The fifteen initial founding networks members of the FORUM produced a synthetic overview on the discussions held and the decisions made. A collective proposal was made that the IUR should take the lead in operating the “FORUM” as a tool to promote radioecology internationally, with three key objectives:
(1) communication, both among regional and technical radioecology networks and with other networks with an interest in the application of the results of radioecology,
(2) global integration and construction of consensus on key scientific radioecology issues,
(3) maintenance of expertise.
IAEA Panel Workshop of the Coordination Group on Protection of the Environment
An IAEA Panel Workshop entitled: “Radiological Protection of the Environment: The challenge to move from research to international regulation” has been held on September 10th, 2014, in Barcelona, as a side event of the 3d ICRER Conference. A Panel formed with representatives from IAEA, UNSCEAR, ICRP, IUR, EC, OECD/NEA and IAEA Member States, has been addressing 3 main questions related to the protection of the environment topic:
- Which are the reasons for the reluctance of nuclear regulators to incorporate the progress in understanding and scientific knowledge? Which is the role of researchers in fostering the development and applications of regulations?
- Which are the weakness and the strength of the ICRP approach? Do we need alternatives or major improvements? If yes, how long should we wait? How far should science go, having in mind the relevance of problem to be regulated?
- What can be done to enhance the acceptance of the current approaches despite their limitations?
The minutes of the Workshop discussions held will be released soon.
Professor Brit Salbu received the 4th IUR Vernadsky award
Brit Salbu, Professor at the Norwegian University of Life sciences, received the 4th IUR V.I. Vernadsky award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the development and dissemination of Radioecology. She is currently head of the Isotope Laboratory and Director of the Center of excellence for Environmental Radioactivity (CERAD).
Three young researchers awarded (IUR Young Investigator Award)
On the occasion of the ICRER 2014 Conference, three young researchers have been granted the IUR Young Investigator Award for the outstanding quality of their research work and reporting at the conference. The awardees were:
- Nicole E. Martinez, USA, Comparison of computational models for estimation of whole body and organ radiation dose in rainbow trout from uptake of iodine-131
- Kyo Kitayama, Japan, Temporal change in the 137Cs concentration ratio between coarse and fine particles in Fukushima
- Polina Y. Volkova, Russia, Genetic variability in chronic irradiated plant populations
2d Ecosystem Approach joint IUR/CERAD Task Group, publication of discussion paper on protection of the environment
After holding an open international scientific seminar in Stockholm University on December the 18th, 2013, entitled “Ecosystem Approach Seminar - how can Ecosystem Approach be used in protection of the environment from toxic substances?”, the Task Group prepared, and presented in plenary at ICRER, a discussion paper that was published in JER (Bradshaw et al., 2014, Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 136: 98-104) highlighting the need to complement the methodology based upon reference organisms which is currently proposed to assess risk from radiation to the environment with additional method(s) along an ecosystem approach.
Ring of Five IUR Task Group, first international Workshop on surveillance of atmospheric low level radioactivity
As a side event of the last ICRER Conference in Barcelona, the Ring of five (Ro5) network has held its first enlarged international workshop on Sunday 7 September, 2014. This workshop was organized by the French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) under the aegis of the International Union of Radioecology (IUR) and with the support of the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority (NRPA).
Fifty five attendees participated to this first edition with 18 oral communications and 8 posters. Knowledge on low-level atmospheric radioactivity is of primary importance since it makes it possible to size the consequences of any atmospheric release in case of a radiological event, whatever its magnitude. Teams and laboratories that own such high sensitiveness are also able to study the reasons for any significant increase and to study the mechanisms involved in radionuclide atmospheric transfers and interactions between the atmosphere and other compartments of the biosphere.
On the occasion of this first workshop, findings related to recent trace events characterization; methodologies, organizations and a special focus on iodine were presented. Beside technical and scientific discussions it has been proposed to create sub-groups based on prior identification of on-going and future R&D priorities established in the framework of the FORUM initiative.
As a first start, 3 main Ro5’s subgroups would rapidly see the light of day. It was also adopted that this network worth entering a new era of information exchange through the IUR website and the Ro5’s task group dedicated web pages. Finally a proposal has been made to host the next Ro5 workshop on the Baltic shore in northern Germany.
Some attendees of the Ro5 workshop
XXXVI IUR General Assembly
As a side event of the 3d ICRER Conference, the XXXVI General Assembly of IUR has been held on September 11th, 2014, with about 5O participants attending the discussions. Important issues highlighted were:
- Promotion of worldwide networking with launch of the FORUM
- Strategy for the future focused on science, promoting prospective view and scientific innovation
- IUR main challenges ahead: widening the FORUM, promoting a more integrated (ecocentric) view in radioecology, integrate human and environment risk assessment
- Agreement on the proposal to promote a regular website highlight “researcher on the spot”
- Agreement on enlarging the process of candidates identification for the IUR V.I. Vernadsky award
- JER has reached an IF of 3.6 in 2013
- Annual membership fee shall not be increased, improvements of fee payment from members to be preferred and shall be devoted further attention
- Agreed increase of individual subscription rate for eJER up to 32 € per year
- Elections to establish the next term Board of Council to be organized by the turn of the year
More about IUR General Assemblies (resrticted to active IUR members)
Post-Fukushima Radioecology progresses
The most recent updates will be reviewed at three International conferences currently planned to take place in Japan in 2015. The first two will address the post-Fukushima progresses directly, and another one is to address Biosphere contaminated with artificial and natural radionuclides.
Paruse Iizaka, Fukushima-city, Fukushima, Japan, May 30–31, 2015
List of Topics
1. Decontamination/radioactive waste
2. Environmental radiation/external exposure
3. Environmental radioactivity/internal exposure
4. Issues in the Fukushima Daiichi NPP site
Fukuoka International Congress Center, Fukuoka, Japan, July 12-16, 2015
Main Themes of the Conference
• Trace element biogeochemistry and environmental sustainability
• Natural abundance and behavior of trace elements in the environments
• Trace element contamination, environmental and human health impacts
• Advances in toxicology and risk assessment
• Regulatory and policy dimensions of trace element contamination
• Advances in remediation technologies for trace element contaminated sites
• New techniques to study the fate of trace elements in the environment
• Heavy metal and radioactive element contamination
• Transnational transport of trace elements and pollutants
2 Special Sessions related with Radioecology:
Nagoya Congress Center, Nagoya, Japan, July 27–August 2, 2015
Current Scientific Scope of INQUA
- Coastal and Marine Processes
- Humans and Biosphere
- Stratigraphy and Chronology
- Terrestrial Processes, Deposits and History
Session related with Radioecology:
Radioecology progresses in Europe: ALLIANCE and COMET
The European Radioecology Alliance was presented in ICRER 2014.
The ALLIANCE was established in 2009 with the firm conviction of the eight founding organizations of that, working in a coordinated manner and combining their efforts, would enhance the competences of the radioecology science in Europe. At present, the ALLIANCE has a membership of 20 organizations from 14 countries (Belgium, Croatia, Spain, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Sweden and the UK).
The main objective of the European Radioecology Alliance is to gradually strengthen coordination and integration of research in the field of radioecology at national, European and international level. The ALLIANCE also aims to act as a research platform and in this sense has developed, in collaboration with the European projects STAR and COMET, a Strategic Research Agenda (SRA).
COMET- Co-ordination and Implementation of a Pan-European Instrument for Radioecology was presented at ICRER 2014.
COMET started in June 2013 and will last for 4 years. With COMET, we aim to strengthen the pan-European research initiative on the impact of radiation on man and the environment by facilitating the integration of radioecological research, including both the human food chain and the protection of wildlife. The project will build upon, and compliment, the foundations laid by the European Radioecology Alliance (ALLIANCE) and the on-going FP7 STAR Network of Excellence in radioecology.
The COMET consortium counted thirteen partners in Sept 2014 and seven more organisations joined COMET from October 2014 onwards. Through COMET, capacity, competence and skills in radioecology will be strengthened at a pan-European level.