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Integrating environment protection, a new challenge: strategy of the International Union of Radioecology

  • F. Bréchignac (a1), R. Alexakhin (a2), J. M. Godoy (a3), D. Oughton (a4), S. Sheppard (a5) and P. Strand (a6)...


Born in the fifties together with the emergence of the nuclear technologies, radioecology is a scientific discipline that primarily addresses environmental issues relevant to radioprotection. With a current membership of nearly 600 worldwide, the International Union of Radioecology was founded in the seventies as a non-governmental knowing society dedicated to the development and the promotion of this discipline. The scientific directions taken in Radioecology have been drastically influenced in the past by the Chernobyl accident, which forced a focus on environmental transfers through the environment to feed human radioprotection needs. Currently, a profound evolution is underway towards more ecological effects research and studies, under the driving pressure of the raise of society’s concern on environmental issues and the concomitant re-boost of nuclear industry to face global warming and the future energetic demands. The IUR plays a central role within this evolution which is described here in more details along a description of its four major tools of action: dedicated task groups; workshops, seminars and conferences; training courses; web site tool for information and communication. Finally, together with the recent election of a new Board of Council to manage the Union, the main lines of the new strategic plan for the coming years are given.



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[1] Bréchignac, F., Polikarpov, G., Oughton, D.H., Hunter, G., Alexakhin, R., Zhu, Y., Hilton, J., Strand, P. (2003) Protection of the environment in the 21st century: Radiation protection of the biosphere including humankind. Statement of the International Union of Radioecology, J. Environm. Radioact. 70, 155-159.
[2] Ecorad (2001) The Radioecology – Ecotoxicology of continental and estuarine environments. F. Bréchignac, Ed., Radioprotection – Colloques 37 (C1), EDP Sciences, 1358 pages.
[3] Ecorad (2005) The Sxcientific basis for environment protection against radioactivity. J.C. Barescut, J.C. Gariel, J.M. Peres, Eds., Radioprotection – Colloques 40 (Suppl. 1), EDP Sciences, 984 pages.
[4] Erica (2007) An integrated approach to the assessment and management of environmental risks from ionising radiation, Final Report of the EC 6th Framework Programme, Contract n° F16R-CT-2004-508847.
[5] Fasset (2004) Framework for Assessment of Environmental Impact, Final Report of EC 5th Framework Programme, Contract FIGE-CT-2000-00102, 112 pages.
[6] Howard B.J., Strand P., Assimakopoulos P., Bréchignac F., Gascó C., Métivier H., Moberg L., Smith J.T., Tamponnet C., Trueba C., Voigt G., Wright S. (2002) Estimation of radioecological sensitivity. In: The Radioecology – Ecotoxicology of continental and estuarine environments ECORAD 2001, Bréchignac F., Ed., Radioprotection – Colloques 37 (C1), 1167-1173.
[7] International Conference on radioactivity in the Environment, Monaco, 1-5 September 2002 (2004) In: P. Strand, P. Boerretzen, Eds., J. Environm. Radioact. 74 (1-3), 284 pages (Special Issue).
[8] International workshop on the mobility of iodine, technetium, selenium and unranium in the biosphere (2003) In: S. Sheppard, Ed., J. Environm. Radioact. 70 (1-2), 154 pages (Special Issue).
[9] IUR (2000) Dose and effects in non-human systems. Summary of the work of the Action group of IUR. International Union of Radioecology, IUR Report 01, Osteras, Norway (
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[11] IUR (2006a) Radioecology in a multipollution context. IUR web based questionnaire results: Research, Facilities and scientific priorities. International Union of Radioecology, IUR Report 04, Warrington, UK (
[12] IUR (2006b) Radiological Protection of the Environment. IUR web based questionnaire results: Research, Facilities and scientific priorities. International Union of Radioecology, IUR Report 05, Warrington, UK (
[13] IUR (2006c) Recommendations for improving predictions of the long-term behaviour of 14C, 36Cl, 99Tc, 237Np and 238U. Findings of the IUR “Radioecology and waste” Task Force. IUR Report 06, Warrington, UK (
[14] Métivier, H. (2008) La fin d’un travail titanesque: lers nouvvelles recommandations sont arrivées [Éditorial], Radioprotection 43, 11-12.
[15] OECD/NEA (2007) Scientific issues and emerging challenges for radiation protection. Report of the expert group on the implications of radiological protection science, NEA/CRPPH/EGIS(2007)1, 84 pages.
[16] Radioactivity in the environment, including the Arctic and Antarctic (2007) The international Conference in Nice, France, 2-6 October 2005. In: P. Strand, Ed., J. Environm. Radioact. 96 (1-3), 156 pages (Special Issue).
[17] Stone, R. (2002) Radioecology’s coming of age, or its last gasp? Science 13, 1800-1801.



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