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International networking in radioecology research

The Federal Office for Radiation Protection (Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz, BfS) is cooperating with international organisations in the field of radioecology.

BfS cooperation partners

European Radioecology Alliance

In June 2009, the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz) and seven other European organisations agreed to strengthen cooperation on radioecology research and established the European Radioecology Alliance. The cooperation aims at interlocking and coordinating the research and development programs at national and international levels. Three EU-funded projects, STAR, COMET and TERRITORIES were initiated to put this guiding principle into practice.

STAR: Strategy for Allied Radioecology

The pilot project for networking in European top-level research on radioecology was the Network of Excellence STAR (Strategy for Allied Radioecology, 2011-2015).

The central element was the development of a joint long-term research strategy at European level (Strategic Research Agenda).

The focus was on developing a joint long-term research strategy at European level (Strategic Research Agenda) by

  • joint use of research infrastructure,
  • modern knowledge management using web-based technology,
  • education and training, as well as
  • exchange of scientific personnel.

Under the leadership of the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz, BfS), European long-term study areas have been established for radioecological field research (Radioecological Observatories) in the Upper-Silesian Coal Basin and in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone..

COMET: Coordination and Implementation of a Pan-European Instrument for Radioecology

The EU project COMET (Coordination and Implementation of a Pan-European Instrument for Radioecology) has strengthened the international network on radioecology since June 2013. An enlarged consortium of thirteen partners from ten European countries and Japan is going to develop a roadmap to reach efficiently the goals prioritized in the Strategic Research Agenda.

The project establishes links to the research platforms in the fields of emergency response (NERIS), low-dose effects (MELODI) and dosimetry (EURADOS), thus also supporting the integration of various disciplines of radiation protection research.

TERRITORIES: To Enhance unceRtainties Reduction and stakeholders Involvement TOwards integrated and graded Risk management of humans and wildlife In long-lasting radiological Exposure Situations

Eleven partners from eight European countries are involved in the TERRITORIES project (2017-2019) also networking with the research platforms for radioecology (ALLIANCE) and emergency response (NERIS). The target is an integrated and graded management approach for existing long-term exposures due to nuclear accidents or NORM legacy.

Based on the requirements of the new European Basic Safety Standards the focus is set on reducing uncertainties in dose and risk assessments. Taking into account lessons learnt by the Fukushima accident and input of all stakeholders a decision-making process guideline is to be developed ensuring and updating the protection humans and wildlife.

BfS expertise will help quantifying variability and reducing uncertainties in exposure assessments by optimizing the characterization of exposure scenarios, the use of monitoring data, and model selection.

Conclusion

The three projects STAR, COMET and TERRITORIES provide the basis for sustainable networking in international research on radioecology and further developing the European Radioecology Alliance as an international research platform.

State of 2017.04.13

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