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Radioecology research at Chernobyl: the COMET consortium organises a workshop on 30th and 31st August


The "30 years after the Chernobyl accident, what do we know about the effects of radiation on the environment?" workshop will be held at Chernhiv (Ukraine) on 30th and 31st August. Organised by the COMET [1] international consortium, this event will bring together people from a wide range of different backgrounds (researchers, experts, regulation organisations, NGOs, media) and will provide the opportunity to present an analysis of the radioecology [2] research that has been carried out over the last few decades inside the Chernobyl exclusion zone, into the effects of chronic exposure to ionising radiation in non-human species.


The main actors in this research – Chernobyl Centre (Ukraine), Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (United Kingdom) and IRSN (France) in particular - will be taking a look at the knowledge acquired in the field, comparing it with the knowledge obtained in the laboratory. Japanese researchers will also be in attendance to provide the first results of research into the evolution of Japanese ecosystems affected by the fallout from the Fukushima accident. The workshop has two main objectives: to discuss future radioecology research priorities at Chernobyl, to provide data which is still lacking and to harmonise the analyses of this data. In addition, the implications of these results in relation to the environmental radioprotection regulatory context will be evaluated.


The COMET consortium, which was created in 2013 for a four-year period, brings together 20 organisations including the IRSN and seeks to strengthen integration for radioecology research. To enable it to do so, COMET is supported by the work carried out by the European Radioecology Alliance, whose founder members are part of the consortium. The programming tools proposed are developed together. Also, research actions dedicated to the effects of ionising radiation on ecosystems and the development of risk evaluation models in crisis and post-accident situations are put in place. The IRSN takes part in all this work and coordinates the work which relates to the study of low doses of ionising radiation on non-human species.


[1] Coordination and implementation of a pan-European instrument radioecology, 7th Euratom RDFP.
[2] Study of the transport and transfer of radio-isotopes in the environment and their potential impact on people and ecosystems.