The IUR Forum : Worldwide Harmonisation of Networks to Support Integration of Scientific Knowledge and Consensus Development in Radioecology

François Bréchignac, R. Alexakhin, A. Bollhöfer, K.E. Frogg, Frank Hardeman, K. Higley, Thomas G. Hinton, Lawrence A. Kapustka, W. Kuhne, K. Leonard, O. Masson, Kenji Nanba, G. Smith, K. Smith, Per Strand, Hildegarde Vandenhove, Tamara Yankovich, S Yoshida

    Research outputpeer-review


    During the past decades, many specialised networks have formed to meet specific radioecological objectives, whether regional or sectorial (purpose-oriented). Regional networks deal with an array of radioecological issues related to their territories. Examples include the South Pacific network of radioecologists, and the European network of excellence in radioecology. The latter is now part of the European platform for radiation protection. Sectorial networks are more problem-oriented, often with wider international representativeness, but restricted to one specific issue, (e.g. radioactive waste, low-level atmospheric contamination, modelling). All such networks, while often working in relative isolation, contribute to a flow of scientific information which, through United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR’s) efforts of synthesis, feeds into the radiation protection frameworks of protecting humans and the environment. The IUR has therefore prompted a co-construction process aimed at improving worldwide harmonisation of radioecology networks. An initiative based on an initial set of 15 networks, now called the IUR FORUM, was launched in June 2014. The IUR Forum agreed to build a framework for improved coordination of scientific knowledge, integration and consensus development relative to environmental radioactivity. Three objectives have been collectively assigned to the IUR FORUM: (1) coordination, (2) global integration and construction of consensus and (3) maintenance of expertise. One particular achievement of the FORUM was an improved description and common understanding of the respective roles and functions of the various networks within the overall scene of radioecology R&D. It clarifies how the various networks assembled within the IUR FORUM interface with UNSCEAR and other international regulatory bodies (IAEA, ICRP), and how consensus on the assessment of risk is constructed. All these agencies interact with regional networks covering different geographical areas, and with other networks which address specific topics within radiation protection. After holding its first Consensus Symposium in 2015, examining the possible ecological impact of radiation from environmental contamination, the IUR FORUM continues its work towards improved radiation protection of humans and the environment. We welcome new members.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)36–42
    JournalRadiation protection dosimetry
    Issue number1-3
    StatePublished - 1 Apr 2017
    EventIRPA14: 14th Congress of the International Radiation Protection Association - Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town
    Duration: 9 May 201613 May 2016

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