Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Specific Challenge: Radiation protection aims at protecting people and the environment from the potentially harmful effects of ionising radiation. It is of particular interest in the context of the rehabilitation of contaminated territories following an accident, as well as the protection of people and the environment during normal operation. The deep understanding of the effects of ionising radiations is also necessary for drawing maximum benefits from the adequate use of these in medical and industrial applications. Contrary to high dose, the risks from low dose of radiation, including its interaction with other risk factors, are poorly understood. A reinforced multidisciplinary approach to research and innovation is considered as essential to further develop the knowledge base in this field. This approach should encompass a number of basic scientific disciplines besides the specific disciplines pertaining to radiation protection so far, such as emergency preparedness, radioecology or the medical use of ionising radiation. It will require cooperation of the entire European research community concerned with a view to exploit to the best extend the synergistic aspects amongst these different disciplines.

Scope: This activity will build on the Strategic Research Agendas of MELODI[1], NERIS[2] and ALLIANCE[3], while also making use of other existing expertise in Europe, notably regarding dosimetry (EURADOS[4]) and the medical use of ionising radiation. EU funding will specifically be devoted to supporting the further integration, at EU level, of radiation protection research, with due attention to the interaction and synergies to be established between the various areas of expertise, in particular biology, biophysics, epidemiology, dosimetry and modelling. These disciplines are pivotal for research on medical exposures and the optimisation of the use of, and protection from ionising radiation in this field. Attention should also be paid to the development of advanced knowledge on the biology and bio-kinetics of medical radioisotopes and to the understanding of the effects of naturally occurring radiation (and the optimisation of the protection thereof), which also contribute to radiation protection basic science. This activity will also address the improvement of knowledge on the effects of ionising radiation on living beings (radioecology) both during the normal operation of nuclear installations and after an accident, which would be needed to further develop mutually compatible European tools and innovative approaches on nuclear emergency management and environmental remediation. Due attention will be paid to research and innovation necessary for supporting the successful transposition and implementation of the revised European Basic Safety Standards[5], which will require changes in national regulations and practices that should be done in a co-ordinated manner in order to optimise protection and avoid duplication. Euratom funding should benefit all European institutes involved in the research on radiation protection related issues. Finally, this activity will also aim at accelerating and improving the developing of competences in radiation protection with a special focus on radiation protection culture and at addressing the challenge of communicating results in radiation protection to non-specialist audiences such as policy decision makers and the public at large. Considerations such as gender and age are of relevance in this field of activity and will have to be addressed, notably as part of research on individual sensitivity to radiation. Moreover, gender and age balance in the composition of project teams should be sought. International cooperation could be beneficial in this area.

Expected Impact: This action will lead to the better integrating of the radiation protection scientific community at EU level, leading to a better coordination of research efforts and the provision of more consolidated and robust science-based policy recommendations to decision makers in this area. In the long term, these efforts will translate into additional or improved practical measures in view of the effective protection of people and the environment.

Type of action: Programme Co-fund Action (European Joint Programme).. Financial support to third parties may be one of the main objectives of the action. General details on the form of funding are provided in Annex 1.D.

Evaluation Criteria: The standard evaluation criteria for a European Joint Programme (Programme co-fund action) apply. For the details see Annex 1.D and 1.G

Additional information: In line with the nature of the action as a proposed European Joint Programme, the Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the Euratom of between EUR 18,5 and 19,5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

[1]     Multidisciplinary European Low Dose Initiative

[2]     European Platform on preparedness for nuclear and radiological emergency response and recovery,</p>

[3]     European Radioecology Alliance

[4]     European Radiation Dosimetry Group,</p>

[5]     Commission proposal for a Council directive laying down basic safety standards for protection against the dangers arising from exposure to ionising radiation, COM (2012)242 final

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