skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: EDITORIAL HPJ SPECIAL ISSUE INTRODUCTION

Abstract

Radioecology is the study of the fate and transport and potential effects of radionuclides and associated contaminants in the environment. In short, it is the science that describes the fundamental connection between environmental health and human health risks. As such, radioecology can and has provided the credible, consistent and defensible basis for the successful and cost-effective environmental cleanup and closure of nuclear production and waste sites. In addition, radioecology also provides the technical basis for making timely and reliable decisions on cleanup in the aftermath of nuclear incidents such as Chernobyl and Fukushima. The 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (ChNPP) accident resulted in catastrophic health, social, and economic consequences in many countries, predominantly, Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia. The extent of radioactive contamination, levels and forms of contamination, and diversity of the ecosystems affected by the accident did not have any precedent and provided unique opportunities for environmental scientists around the world. Following the natural course of their development, populations of species and their communities found themselves in conditions of chronic radiation exposure that exceeded the natural background by factors of hundreds and thousands. Anything similar would have been extremely difficult if not impossible to recreate in a scientific laboratory. Consequently,more » since the first few years after the accident, many teams of scientists have visited the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (ChEZ). The knowledge gained by studying the consequences of this accident has tremendous importance. The concept of an international research and technical center to address the problems involving nuclear and radiological accidents became a reality with the establishment of the International Chernobyl Center (ICC). In May 1995, the US and Ukraine signed a Protocol of Intent on establishment of the ICC, and the government of Ukraine appealed to the international scientific community to support ICC and join its activities (Chernobyl Center 2006). In December 1995, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the ChNPP closure was signed by the government of Ukraine, all of the G7 governments, and the European Commission. The ICC foundation was considered critical to ensure the safe decommissioning of the ChNPP reactor units and improvement of the safety of the Chernobyl Containment Shelter. On the 10th anniversary of the Chernobyl accident (26 April 1996), Mr. Viktor Yushchenko, the President of Ukraine, issued a decree to establish the Chernobyl Center for Nuclear Safety, Radioactive Waste and Radioecology (Chernobyl Center). On the same day, a MOU involving the US participation in Chernobyl Center activities was signed by the US and Ukraine (Chernobyl Center 2006). In July 1998, the US and Ukraine signed an agreement to establish the International Radioecology Laboratory (IRL) as part of the Chernobyl Center. The creation of IRL was a logical continuation of previous programs to conduct scientific research in radioecology and provide Ukraine and the rest of the world with the necessary infrastructure and scientific basis to conduct research in radioecology, radiobiology, dosimetry, and environmental protection in the ChEZ (Chernobyl Center 2006). A recent collaborative effort with IRL has been implemented through a project titled 'Long-term impacts from radiation/contamination within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone' (Farfan et al. 2008; Gerdes et al. 2009; Marra et al. 2010). This collaboration had the following objectives: (1) Assess the long-term impacts to the environment from radiation exposure within the ChEZ; (2) Provide information on remediation guidelines and ecological risk assessment within radioactively contaminated territories based on the results of long-term field monitoring, analytical measurements, and numerical modeling of soils and groundwater radioactive contamination; and (3) Recommend the development and testing of effective cleanup technologies to reduce environmental and health risks. Based on this work, a large amount of data are now available for publication, some of which are presented in this Special Issue of the Health Physics Journal.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
SRS
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1024200
Report Number(s):
SRNL-STI-2011-00541
Journal ID: ISSN 0017-9078; HLTPAO; TRN: US1104678
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AC09-08SR22470
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
HEALTH PHYSICS JOURNAL
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 101; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 0017-9078
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; 21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; ACCIDENTS; CLOSURES; COMMUNITIES; CONTAINMENT; CONTAMINATION; DECOMMISSIONING; DOSIMETRY; ECONOMICS; ECOSYSTEMS; ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION; MONITORING; NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS; RADIATION PROTECTION; RADIATIONS; RADIOACTIVE WASTES; RADIOBIOLOGY; RADIOECOLOGY; RADIOISOTOPES; RISK ASSESSMENT; SAFETY; SOILS; TESTING; UKRAINE; WASTES

Citation Formats

Farfan, E. EDITORIAL HPJ SPECIAL ISSUE INTRODUCTION. United States: N. p., 2011. Web. doi:10.1097/HP.0b013e31822f9be5.
Farfan, E. EDITORIAL HPJ SPECIAL ISSUE INTRODUCTION. United States. doi:10.1097/HP.0b013e31822f9be5.
Farfan, E. Sat . "EDITORIAL HPJ SPECIAL ISSUE INTRODUCTION". United States. doi:10.1097/HP.0b013e31822f9be5. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1024200.
@article{osti_1024200,
title = {EDITORIAL HPJ SPECIAL ISSUE INTRODUCTION},
author = {Farfan, E},
abstractNote = {Radioecology is the study of the fate and transport and potential effects of radionuclides and associated contaminants in the environment. In short, it is the science that describes the fundamental connection between environmental health and human health risks. As such, radioecology can and has provided the credible, consistent and defensible basis for the successful and cost-effective environmental cleanup and closure of nuclear production and waste sites. In addition, radioecology also provides the technical basis for making timely and reliable decisions on cleanup in the aftermath of nuclear incidents such as Chernobyl and Fukushima. The 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (ChNPP) accident resulted in catastrophic health, social, and economic consequences in many countries, predominantly, Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia. The extent of radioactive contamination, levels and forms of contamination, and diversity of the ecosystems affected by the accident did not have any precedent and provided unique opportunities for environmental scientists around the world. Following the natural course of their development, populations of species and their communities found themselves in conditions of chronic radiation exposure that exceeded the natural background by factors of hundreds and thousands. Anything similar would have been extremely difficult if not impossible to recreate in a scientific laboratory. Consequently, since the first few years after the accident, many teams of scientists have visited the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (ChEZ). The knowledge gained by studying the consequences of this accident has tremendous importance. The concept of an international research and technical center to address the problems involving nuclear and radiological accidents became a reality with the establishment of the International Chernobyl Center (ICC). In May 1995, the US and Ukraine signed a Protocol of Intent on establishment of the ICC, and the government of Ukraine appealed to the international scientific community to support ICC and join its activities (Chernobyl Center 2006). In December 1995, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the ChNPP closure was signed by the government of Ukraine, all of the G7 governments, and the European Commission. The ICC foundation was considered critical to ensure the safe decommissioning of the ChNPP reactor units and improvement of the safety of the Chernobyl Containment Shelter. On the 10th anniversary of the Chernobyl accident (26 April 1996), Mr. Viktor Yushchenko, the President of Ukraine, issued a decree to establish the Chernobyl Center for Nuclear Safety, Radioactive Waste and Radioecology (Chernobyl Center). On the same day, a MOU involving the US participation in Chernobyl Center activities was signed by the US and Ukraine (Chernobyl Center 2006). In July 1998, the US and Ukraine signed an agreement to establish the International Radioecology Laboratory (IRL) as part of the Chernobyl Center. The creation of IRL was a logical continuation of previous programs to conduct scientific research in radioecology and provide Ukraine and the rest of the world with the necessary infrastructure and scientific basis to conduct research in radioecology, radiobiology, dosimetry, and environmental protection in the ChEZ (Chernobyl Center 2006). A recent collaborative effort with IRL has been implemented through a project titled 'Long-term impacts from radiation/contamination within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone' (Farfan et al. 2008; Gerdes et al. 2009; Marra et al. 2010). This collaboration had the following objectives: (1) Assess the long-term impacts to the environment from radiation exposure within the ChEZ; (2) Provide information on remediation guidelines and ecological risk assessment within radioactively contaminated territories based on the results of long-term field monitoring, analytical measurements, and numerical modeling of soils and groundwater radioactive contamination; and (3) Recommend the development and testing of effective cleanup technologies to reduce environmental and health risks. Based on this work, a large amount of data are now available for publication, some of which are presented in this Special Issue of the Health Physics Journal.},
doi = {10.1097/HP.0b013e31822f9be5},
journal = {HEALTH PHYSICS JOURNAL},
issn = {0017-9078},
number = 4,
volume = 101,
place = {United States},
year = {2011},
month = {10}
}