We are really sad to learn that Ciara McMahon, Director of the Office of Radiological Protection at the Irish Environmental Protection Agency and member of the NERIS Management Board, passed away suddenly on Friday 15th January 2021. This is truly sad news.
Ciara was so kind with everybody and greatly committed to promoting emergency response and recovery preparedness.
Our deep thoughts to Ciara’s family, friends and colleagues.
Ciara will be greatly missed by all the NERIS community.
We are pleased to announce the publication of the NERIS Roadmap 2020, in the framework of CONCERT WP2.
Following the publication of the updated NERIS SRA in November 2019, the process of updating the NERIS long-term roadmap was initiated in parallel to the preparation of the Joint Roadmap on Radiation Protection Research established in 2020 within H2020 CONCERT EJP.
The present Roadmap is an update of the first NERIS Roadmap established in November 2017. A series of exchanges was organised after the European Radiation Protection Week meeting held in October 2019 in Stockholm. Initially, the process envisaged for updating the NERIS Roadmap included the organisation of an open meeting prior to the NERIS workshop to be held in Barcelona at the end of May 2020. Due to COVID-19 crisis, the NERIS management board decided to organise a series of video-conference meetings between mid-March and end of May 2020 and to establish 3 working groups, involving mainly members of the NERIS management board and R&D committee, to address each of the challenge areas defined in the NERIS SRA. Following the consultation of the NERIS community, the updated NERIS roadmap has been published on May 29, 2020.
In April 2020, wildfires were reported in the exclusion zone around the damaged Chernobyl nuclear reactor. The fires reached the red forest, one of the most contaminated natural environments , and came as close as two kilometers from the sarcophagi covering the damaged reactor. These are not the first wildfires after the 1986 accident and radiation scientists have recognized the potential to return radioactive material into the air, especially cesium-137 and strontium-90. This poses an obvious and immediate health risk to fire fighters, but smoke plumes may also transport this re-suspended radioactive material over long distances, resulting in redistribution of the historic fall-out from the accident.
At the local and regional scale, people are concerned about the potential radiological impact too. Several institutes have made assessments of the situation to answer these concerns, with a combination of satellite imagery and local observations of the fires’ location and intensity, radionuclide detection and models of atmospheric dispersion and transport of particles. Methods developed for the management of earlier nuclear and radiological emergencies were used and new tools, like source inversion techniques, were tested. A number of institutes have issued general statements as well as detailed reports on the Chernobyl wildfires, available to the public on websites and social media.
In this webinar is discussed the analyses carried out by different institutes, including their rationales, methods, results, communication to the general public as well as collaboration among them. First several speakers present briefly the situation from their perspective. In the second half, participants’ questions are addressed by the speakers and a moderated discussion will be held.
Valery Kashparov – Ukrainian Institute for Agricultural Research, National University of Life and Environmental Sciences (UIAR) - Ukraine
Dmitry Bazyka -National Center for Radiation Medicine in Kiev, the WHO Collaborating Center for Radiation and Health - Ukraine
Wolfgang Raskob – Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) – Germany
Jasper Tomas – National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) – The Netherlands
Olivier Saunier – Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) – France
Astrid Liland – Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear safety Authority (DSA) – Norway
Johan Camps – Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK CEN) - Belgium
Nick Beresford - UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (United Kingdom) and ALLIANCE Platform
Final Comments: Thierry Schneider – CEPN and Chair of NERIS – France