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Towards a European Network of Excellence in Biological Dosimetry (TENEB)

Subsequent to a large-scale radiation accident or a terrorist attack with radiation sources or radioactive material, a substantial number of persons could have been exposed to ionising radiation.

In order to provide optimal medical care to the exposed individuals and to identify non-irradiated persons a reliable dose reconstruction is of utmost importance. This can be realized by several measures within the emergency management system. In addition to the medical emergency treatment and to physical dose assessment biological dose reconstruction can contribute to an adequate individual care.

To meet the requirements of biological dosimetry after an accident with a large number of potentially exposed persons it is necessary to integrate the resources of several specialised biological dosimetry laboratories in Europe, since the capacity of a single laboratory is not sufficient and quick results are needed.

Pan-European survey on laboratory capacity

As part of the research project TENEB, a pan-European survey of existing resources in the member states was conducted. It was asked,

  • which biological dosimetry assays were established in the labs,
  • how many staff and
  • which equipment were available,
  • which expertise has been gained with the assays and
  • what capacity will be available in case of a radiation accident.

Of the 28 member states of the EU

  • 18 countries confirmed the need for the provision of biological dosimetry;
  • 15 states (Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain and United Kingdom) have already established operational laboratories for biological dosimetry.

In total 24 laboratories have the capability to perform biological dosimetry; they have expressed their interest in creating a network of excellence. This kind of network is also favourised by 18 leading European radiation protection organizations, which signed corresponding letters of intent for a sustainable integration of research in the field of biological dosimetry.

Realising a European Network of Excellence in biological dosimetry

In the meantime it was possible to start with realising the European Network in Biological Dosimetry (RENEB) based on the results of the TENEB project.

These statements together with the long term expertise and the integration of the laboratories in their national structures make it highly probable that a network will be sustained beyond the period when EC funding has ceased.

State of 2017.09.27

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