UMB4C - Societal Impact

UMB4C aims to evaluate the broader consequences of radiation events. This requires a multidisciplinary approach, as not only radiation contamination but also economic, societal, and ethical impacts pose challenges to society.

Economic and societal impacts are influenced by the way risks are perceived and communicated. Our research on communication of radiological risks highlighted a bias in media presentation of radiation risks.

We used stakeholder dialogues, a particularly important approach in risk communication, and demonstrated how they can facilitate multidisciplinary assessment of risks. We held two stakeholder dialogue workshops in Rogaland where we gathered a number of important national, regional and local actors to discuss better post-accident management and recovery based on the Western Norway scenario.  With these workshops have also showed that collaborative deliberation contributed to improved learning, networking, involvement and problem solving compared to pure information provision.

In addition to using stakeholder dialogues, CERAD also developed criteria for assessing the quality of stakeholder involvement processes. These criteria are: inclusiveness, independence, flexibility, continuity, influence, transparency and mutual learning.

CERAD co-organized the Miami consensus symposium where 30 scientists from different countries, disciplines and research areas developed seven consensus statements for better environmental radiation protection. We have also organized expert workshops for development of SHAMISEN recommendations for improved preparedness and follow-up of populations affected by nuclear accidents.

CERAD is part of the Task Group on the Ethical Foundations of Radiation Protection (under the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP)). We organised a workshop on the ethical aspects of using apps and other tools to support data collection on radiation measurements, health and well-being indicators by citizens in preparedness for and recovery from a radiation accident, and assessed the ethical challenges associated with individual radiosensitivity. Ethical principles were also a key component of the Shamisen Recommendations mentioned above.


Recommendations to Improve Health of Populations in Case of a Nuclear Accident

Key publications:

Kalman, C. and D.H. Oughton (2020). Ethical considerations related to radiosensitivity and radiosusceptibility. International Journal of Radiation Biology, Vol. 96 (3), 340-343.

Liland, A., Tomkiv, Y., Oughton, D.H., Navrud, S., Romstad, E. and Skuterud, L. (2019). The power of collaborative deliberation in stakeholder dialogue seminars. Journal of Risk Research, Vol. 22 (2), 243-267. 

Tomkiv, Y., Liland, A., Oughton, D.H. and B. Wynne (2019). Assessing Quality of Stakeholder Engagement: From Bureaucracy to Democracy. Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society Vol. 37(3), 167–178.

Bréchignac, F., Oughton, D.H., Mays, C., Barnthouse, L., Beasley, J.C., Bonisoli-Alquati, A., Bradshaw, C., Brown, J., Dray, S., Geras’kin, S., Glenn, T., Highley, K., Ishida, K., Kapustka, L., Kautsky, U., Kuhne, W., Lynch, M., Mappes, T., (…) and Tsukada, H. (2016). Addressing ecological effects of radiation on populations and ecosystems to improve protection of the environment against radiation: Agreed statements from a Consensus Symposium. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, Vol. 158-159, 21-29.

Tomkiv, Y., Perko, T., Oughton, D.H., Prezelj, I., Cantone, M.C. and Gallego, E. (2016). How did media present the radiation risks after the Fukushima accident: a content analysis of newspapers in Europe. Journal of Radiological Protection, Vol. 36 (2).


Published 7. April 2017 - 9:45 - Updated 24. November 2020 - 14:38