CERAD: Why?

Centre for Environmental Radioactivity will provide new scientific knowledge and tools for better protection of people and the environment from harmful effects of radiation

CERAD-Why

There are four key factors that motivated the establishment of CERAD:

  • Many sources can contribute to releases of radioactivity in the future.

We are surrounded by a series of potentially releasing nuclear/radiological sources[1], including NORM sources[2]. State-of-the- art “competence” must be in place to manage these risks.

  •  Competence must be available when needed.

Competence: the deep knowledge of the theories, principles and scientific methods needed to reduce trial and error – relating radiological inputs, biological and ecosystem processes, outputs and outcomes. Competence in radioecology was built in Norway and other countries during the nuclear weapons test period. Following the test ban, when global fallout decreased, the competence and recruitment within nuclear sciences declined. When the Chernobyl accident occurred, “competence” was not available when needed, and many decisions were made on poor scientific grounds. The competence built post-Chernobyl is again declining in Europe, despite the continuing legacy and new nuclear renaissance challenges. The Fukushima accident showed also that competence was not in place when needed. Thus, again, lessons had not been learned.

  • Science/New knowledge/Recruitment needed.

There are important gaps in knowledge that contribute to unacceptable uncertainties in impact and risk assessments. The challenges are inspiring and should contribute to basic science in an innovative fruitful scientific environment, attracting young scientists.

  • Science must underpin the risk management to maintain public trust.

In this field of research, the distance between science, economy and politics is short. To maintain public trust and avoid unnecessary anxiety often enhanced by the media, decisions must be based on stronger and more extensive scientific foundations (linking release/emissions to outcomes for man and the environment on the local, national and international scale). It is equally important to identify what is a hazard and what is not.



[1] Governmental document based on The Crisis Committee for Nuclear Preparedness "Nuclear Threats" report (2008) The Norwegian government, Oslo, Norway, 2010.

[2]Pollution Control Act (Forurensningsloven), 1981. LOV-1981-03-13-6.  http://www.regjeringen.no/en/doc/Laws/Acts/Pollution-Control- 267 Act.html?id=171893

 

Published 31. October 2016 - 18:04 - Updated 23. May 2017 - 19:16

Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)

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