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Infrastructure: databases, sample banks, methods and facilities for radioecological research

Ikäheimonen, T.K.; Vesterbacka, P.; Outola, I.; Ylipieti, J.; Vaaramaa, K.; Vetikko, V.; Muikku, M.; Mora, J.C.; Beresford, N.; Howard, B.; Barnett, C.; Wells, C.; Vanhoudt, N.; Bradshaw, C.; Gurriaran, R.; Komperød, M.; Skipperud, L.; Willrodt, C.; Real, A.. 2012 Infrastructure: databases, sample banks, methods and facilities for radioecological research. European Commission, 455pp. (CEH Project Number: C04341)

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Abstract/Summary

The overarching goal of STAR Work Package 2 "Integration and Infrastructure" is to facilitate the long term sustainable integration of European radioecological research, with an appropriate governance structure. To ensure effective collaboration and integration, an inventory of infrastructure covering radioanalytical equipment and methods, bioinformatic equipment and methods, sample archives, models, expertise and facilities for radioecological research has been created (using an on‐line wiki pages). The infrastructure survey shows that STAR partners and the associated Alliance have a high‐quality infrastructure, extended expertise and competence for radioecological research in Europe. STAR partners have expertise in wide‐ranging areas of radioecology, encompassing the atmospheric dispersion, dosimetry, ecology, ecotoxicology, environmental radiation protection, environmental surveillance, foodstuffs, terrestrial, freshwater and marine radioecology, modelling, radiobiology and radionuclide analytics, emergency preparedness, education and training. Within STAR partners have more than 170 experts are covering these areas. A wide‐ranging expertise is available within STAR partners for radioanalytical methods. Many of the methods are accredited emphasising the remarkably high quality of the partner laboratories. There are also many different holistic bioinformatic equipment and platforms for molecular and biochemical analysisto study (radiation) effects endpoints in Europe. The STAR NoE is highly resourced. The large inventory of specialized facilities and research equipment highlights the ability of the STAR network to perform high‐quality radioecological research. The facilities comprise different kinds of laboratories, such as rooms for: pretreatment of samples, specially constructed experimental systems for radioecological and biological studies and measurement, specialized equipment for radioactivity measurements, radiochemical and biological treatment of samples and organisms. The STAR NoE also holds a large variety of samples from the terrestrial and aquatic environment, and samples from a variety of air samplers collected by a various methods. These samples can be analysed systematically in future to address help address scientific questions in a cost effective manner (e.g. to improve parameter values within WP3 or help meet research requirements outlined in the STAR Strategic Research Agenda see www.star‐radioecology.org). The partners have collected samples during environmental surveillance programmes, within research projects and as a service for customers. Some of the archived samples were collected as early as the 1910s, but most are more recent. Some institutes do not have sample archives of their own, but their samples have been archived elsewhere. Amongst the STAR partners, expertise covers at least 40 different models for radioecological purposes. These covers many challenging fields in area of radioecology like radionuclides atmospheric dispersion, deposition and transport of radioactivity in the aquatic and terrestrial environment. The models are used for calculations of the dose rates, activity concentrations and assessment of risk from ionising radiation. Some of the models are also used for calculating stability diagrams, the equilibrium states, for transport of multiple components, mixed equilibrium and kinetic biogeochemical reactions, as well as various groundwater flow systems, which are designed to simulate aquifer systems. The focus of the models is on human and biota impact assessment. STAR partners are often both users and developers of the models. The SWOT analysis of the STAR infrastructure survey indicated many strengths and opportunities. Most of the strengths are related to integration, knowing and understanding the perspectives of each partner, a wide range of equipment, methods, analytical capacities, and expertise available for common research. This information could also be used for coordination and integration in response to emergencies. In the future, the potential of the infrastructure database is for training and to explore the potential for collaboration between STAR/ALLIANCE and other research organisations, international organizations (e.g. IAEA) and other platforms (NERIS, HERCA, MELODY). The infrastructure database also requires further development, in particular the need for maintenance and updating. The data in the infrastructure wiki pages must be real time.

Item Type: Publication - Report (UNSPECIFIED)
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 onwards > Biogeochemistry > BGC Topic 3 - Managing Threats to Environment and Health > BGC - 3.3 - Deliver effective advice, models and applied science ...
CEH Sections: Shore
Funders/Sponsors: European Commission Seventh Framework Programme
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: STAR Deliverable (D-No. 2.2)
Additional Keywords: radioecology
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Electronics, Engineering and Technology
Related URLs:
Date made live: 24 Jul 2012 12:09
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/18837

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