The CERAD CoE is designed to perform long term fundamental research to substantially improve the ability to assess the radiological risks from environmental radioactivity, also combined with other stressors.
CERAD’s core objective is to provide the scientific basis for impact and risk assessments which underpin management of radiation risks in combination with interacting stressors.
The scope includes man-made and naturally occurring radionuclides in the environment that were released in the past (i.e., accidental and operational legacies), those presently released as well as those that potentially can be released in the future from the nuclear fuel cycle and non-nuclear industries.
By focusing on key factors contributing to the overall uncertainties, CERAD will represent a state-of-the-art research foundation for the advancement of new tools and methods needed for the better assessment and management of those risks.
The objectives of CERAD can only be achieved through the integration of national and internationally leading scientists to take part in the implementation of the Research Areas.
The CERAD CoE has been designed to answer the following overarching hypotheses
- Radioactive particle releases: Air/water transport of particles will differ from that of aerosols/ions.
- Ecosystem transfer, biological uptake and the subsequent accumulation in living organisms of radionuclides are driven by changes in radionuclide speciation over time.
- Kinetics: Improved transfer and exposure assessments to take account of time- and temperature dependent changes will reduce uncertainty.
- Responses at the cellular or molecular biomarker level can be correlated with effects at the organism level. Particle exposure and localised doses can increase risks.
- Multiple stressors: Ionising radiation, UV and other chemical stressors act by either same modes of action or different modes of action or at different sites. Combined responses will deviate from simple dose or concentration assessments and might give additive, synergistic or antagonistic effects.
The CERAD Strategic Research Agenda (SRA)
The SRA presents the four CERAD research areas (RA) and their main research questions, hypothesis and approaches to testing those hypotheses. In addition to focusing on the key challenges within individual research areas, the SRA also identifies integrated research areas, and forms the basis for decisions about needs and priorities for personnel, experiments, and equipment within CERAD.
RA1 Source terms and release scenarios:
To characterize radionuclides released from different sources under different release scenarios with respect to physico-chemical forms, and to use such information to better determine the potential implication for air/water dispersal and further environmental transfer through development of integrated models.
RA2 Ecosystem transfer:
To specify how speciation, co-contaminants, climate conditions and biological factors influence radionuclide transfer through ecosystems in a Nordic context, and to replace equilibrium transfer constants with time and temperature dependent functions.
RA3 Biological responses:
To identify responses induced in biota exposed to medium to low radiation doses/dose rates, in combination with other stressors such as UV radiation, metals and antioxidant deficiency under varying temperature/climate conditions.
RA4 Risk assesments and ecosystem approach:
To evaluate and improve impact, risk and benefit-cost assessments for establishing a scientifically based set of decision criteria for handling radiation and multi-stressors within an environmental and societal perspective.