Since 14 November 2016, a team from IRSN's Biogeochemistry, Bioavailability and Radionuclide Transfer Laboratory (L2BT) has been working in the forests of Fukushima to take samples. It is the third campaign of this type carried out as part of the AMORAD project to improve models to forecast dispersion and evaluate the impact of radionuclides in the environment. The mission is in partnership with Andra and the University of Tsukuba. The Institute of Environmental Radioactivity (IER) will host the scientists until 9 December as they process samples and perform laboratory experiments.
The mission is part of the "Continental" line of research of the Amorad project, which seeks to better quantify transfers of radionuclides in various environments at different spatiotemporal scales. The environments that are primarily concerned (forests, waterways, drainage basins) are those that most influence the dosimetric impact on human populations after an accident. As with the first two missions (2013 and 2014), the sampling is carried out at two forest sites as part of a five-year monitoring of changes in the radionuclide inventory and flux in these complex ecosystems.
Selected by the French National Research Agency (ANR) during the call for research projects on nuclear safety and radiation protection in 2012 and launched in November 2013, AMORAD is intended to improve models for forecasting the dispersion and transfers of radionuclides in the environment and thus reduce uncertainties associated with the evaluation of the radiological consequences on people and the environment in the event of a severe accident like those at Chernobyl and Fukushima.