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RTD activites

The RTD activities within the EURANOS project have been subdivided into the following concurrent and closely co-ordinated categories:
  • CAT1: All activities related to emergency actions and countermeasures;
  • CAT2: All activities related to the further enhancement of decision support systems for operational application, particularly the RODOS system;
  • CAT3: All activities related to rehabilitation strategies and guidance.
The work programme of each of these categories is briefly described in the following sections.

CAT1: Activities related to emergency actions and countermeasures

Following a large-scale release of radioactivity into the environment, food production systems and inhabited areas may be contaminated for many years. A wide range of different countermeasures have been developed and improved since the accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine to minimise the impact of contamination on Man and the environment. Compendia of information on these countermeasures in the form of datasheets have been published, for implementation in the medium to long term. The datasheets were designed to take into account all of the criteria that decision makers might wish to consider when evaluating different options. These included a short description of the countermeasure, its key attributes, constraints, effectiveness, feasibility, waste generated, additional doses incurred, costs, side effects, stakeholder opinion and practical experience.

Research activities being conducted under CAT1 are aimed at the production of a more comprehensive series of countermeasure compendia as well as guidance in the form of handbooks to support decision makers in the selection of emergency actions and countermeasures and in the optimisation of monitoring strategies. The compendia and handbooks will be applicable to the management of contaminated food production systems and inhabited areas.

In the first year of the project (April 2004 - March 2005) existing countermeasure compendia are being expanded to include additional datasheets and information on:

  • All phases of emergency management
  • Radionuclides that might be released from terrorist devices
  • Food production systems in Mediterranean and Arctic/sub arctic areas
The expanded countermeasures compendia will contain a wealth of state-of-the-art information for all feasible options. However, only subsets of these options are likely to be applicable according to the scale, timing and type of radionuclide released. One way to guide decision makers in their choice of options for the management of contaminated areas is to produce a series of handbooks, containing for example flow charts, decision trees, checklists. Stakeholder panels from around Europe will be convened to agree on the scope, format and content of these handbooks. Variations in climate, terrain, land use, infrastructure and culture between Member States will necessitate that handbooks have a section of general applicability as well as annexes containing guidelines for customisation in different regions of Europe. Work on the handbooks extends from October 2004 - September 2006.

In order to manage nuclear and radiological emergencies, authorities must have both measurement results and model predictions. Measurements are used to correct and update model predictions. Model predictions are used to help determine what kind of measurements must be performed. Work will be carried out over the period Apr 06 - Sept 08 to look at the interface between measurement results and model predictions. Consideration will be given to the types of measurements required, their frequency and detection limits as well as quality and format of data input to models. The end product will be a handbook that will facilitate the practical management and optimisation of measurements in an emergency.

The compendia produced from CAT1 activities will be used to enhance the decision support systems being developed under CAT2. The handbooks will undergo demonstration in the operational environment to confirm their utility in emergency management in the future. The stakeholder panels established under CAT1 will provide an input to CAT3 by contributing to the development of rehabilitation strategies in long term contaminated territories.

CAT2: Activities related to the further enhancement of decision support systems for operational application, particularly the RODOS system

Decision Support Systems (DSS) are and will become more and more a non abdicable part of the decision making process in case of nuclear or radiological emergencies. A DSS provides support to the emergency management team (EMT) in collecting on-line and real-time measurements, analysing the current radiological situation, estimating its future development including countermeasure simulations and ranking these countermeasures according to the preferences expressed by the EMT.

Work under CAT2 aims at the practical application of state of the art decision support systems and tools, in particular the RODOS system, in operational emergency centres and its further methodological and technological improvement on the basis of the results achieved under the work packages of CAT1 and CAT3 and the responses obtained from the end-users for ensuring its wider acceptance and dissemination in Europe. The RTD activities can be subdivided into three major topics:

  • Estimation and management of the radiological situation and countermeasures in agricultural areas
  • Estimation and management of the radiological situation and countermeasures in inhabited areas
  • Enhancement of decision support systems
The RTD work under the first two major topics concentrates on completing a consistent methodology for calculating the best estimate possible of current radiological situation in both contaminated agricultural and contaminated inhabited areas. This methodology includes modelling, data assimilation and monitoring strategies, with input on countermeasures from the compendia and handbooks developed under CAT1 (see Figure 1). The models and databases of these first two major activities will be integrated in the two Decision support Systems ARGOS and RODOS. This figure shows the holistic approach for the modelling of countermeasures in the later phase:

A number of individual work packages comprised under the third major activity will help make the RODOS system more user friendly, praxis oriented and functional with respect to a wider range of applications (see Figure 2). A description of individual tasks can be obtained by clicking on the following hyperlink

  • New tools for ENSEMBLE modelling: CAT2RTD01
  • Hydrological model chain: CAT2RTD05
  • Extension of operability and portability: CAT2RTD06
  • Radiological accidents: CAT2RTD07
  • Module for preparing emergency exercises: CAT2RTD08
  • Operational evaluation tools: CAT2RTD11
  • Improved functionality of early C/M module: CAT2RTD13
  • User interfaces and graphics: CAT2RTD14

CAT3: Rehabilitation strategies and guidance for contaminated territories

International experience, particularly in those countries most affected by the Chernobyl accident, has demonstrated that the long term management and rehabilitation of contaminated territories is not a narrow radiological issue that can be dealt with largely or solely by technical means. Rather it is a broader issue of "governance" which must address all affected dimensions : health, environmental, economic, social, cultural, ethical, political, etc. The need to develop policy and broadly applicable arrangements for the long term management and rehabilitation of potentially contaminated areas is now broadly recognised, in particular post September 11th.

The research work undertaken in CAT3 activities will provide generic support and guidance that may inform and enhance the ongoing development of national policies in Europe on:

  • the sustainable rehabilitation of living conditions and the social, economic and cultural development of regions affected by long lasting radioactive contamination,
  • the implementation of a practical radiological protection culture among local authorities and professionals and the general public in case of long term contamination of rural and urban environments,
The CAT3 contribution will be built around an approach that is comprehensive and inclusive (i.e. addresses all potentially affected dimensions), sustainable (i.e. in terms of the longer term social and economic development of the affected territories), decentralised (i.e. involves the potentially affected population and the local professionals) and broadly applicable in European countries.

During the first two years of the project (Apr 04 - Mar 06) the efforts will be mainly focused on the development of a Framework, including guidance on its application, that can inform or assist national authorities in establishing arrangements for the long term management and rehabilitation of extensive areas that may be contaminated as a result of an accident or malvolent act involving radioactive material.

Building on the experience of the European ETHOS, FARMING and SAGE Projects, a Pilot Study will be implemented in France with a stakeholder panel to develop, in cooperation with the Norwegian authorities, a strategic and inclusive approach that will allow all key actors to identify and recognise the complexity of post-accident situation, to negotiate common guidance for action, and share responsibilities in the management of the long term rehabilitation situations. The Framework will be presented to national authorities and end users to identify its strengths and weaknesses as well as further needs to refine it and to demonstrate its efficacy.

During the next period (Apr 06 - Mar 09) the main objective will be to demonstrate that the proposed Framework is capable of finding broad acceptance in Europe and to disseminate it widely within the Union and promote its use by those who would be responsible for the long term management and rehabilitation of potentially contaminated areas. Furthermore, using the results of CAT 1 and CAT 3 activities, a training course on strategies and guidance for the sustainable rehabilitation of living conditions in long term contaminated territories will be developed and implemented.