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Enhancing Nuclear Safety


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11/04/2013

Radioecology: A new cooperation agreement in research between IRSN and AECL (Canada)

IRSN and the Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) have just signed a seven-year cooperation agreement in the area of radioecology and environmental radiation protection. The agreement identifies several areas of mutual scientific interest that will be pooled so that the two partners can take advantage of a joint technical platform and expanded skill sets.

The need to consolidate scientific knowledge to ensure that ecosystems are adequately protected from contaminating radioactive substances is a widely shared concern at the international level [1]. Since 2000, IRSN has reinforced its research in the field of radioecology, focusing on the understanding of the effects on a number of biota of radiotoxic substances at environmental concentrations. IRSN is currently coordinating the radioecology European Network of Excellence.

As the issue of tritium’s behavior in the environment and associated ecological risks gains importance in both Canada and France, scientists at IRSN and AECL will jointly focus their attention on its bioaccumulation in various physico-chemical forms in aquatic organisms and on examining the potential ecological consequences. An original approach combining field studies, laboratory studies and modeling will provide new data in order to better understand the metabolization of tritium and its biological effects on fish.

Note:
1- This concern is seen in its recent explicit inclusion in the Basic Safety Standards updated by the IAEA in 2011: IAEA- GSR Part 3 Radiation Protection and Safety of Radiation Sources – Revision of the International BSS, Interim Edition (2011).

More information: the Envirhom program.

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