WHAT IS RADIOECOLOGY?
Radioecology is a highly multidisciplinary scientific discipline situated at the crossroads between environmental radioactivity, whether natural or man-made, and its consequences on both, human and the environment. It deals with radioactivity as a stressor requiring risk assessment, but also as a tracer of biogeochemical and ecological processes.
Radioecology is facing a highly strategic new context that particularly challenges IUR since recently. In the one hand, political decisions are currently being made worldwide to start replacing the nuclear power plants that have been operating since several decades, strengthening the need for efficient radiological protection. In the other hand, concerns about the sustainability of life on the planet are growing, pushed by the emergence of large scale ecological disturbances, and protection of the environment from the potential stressors induced hazards has become a priority.
>> Baseline research directions in Radioecology
- Axis 1: Source term–Speciation, mobility (in the various environmental media)
- Axis 2: Transfers–In abiotic compartments, within the human food chain–In abiotic compartments, within the biota trophic network
- Axis 3: Effects–(On man)–On biota, populations, ecosystems
- Axis 4: Risk assessment–Human risk assessment–Ecological risk assessment (organism-based/ecosystem-centred approach)
- Axis 5: Tracer studies–Biogeochemical cycles, ocean streams, run-off