UIR has provided an effective mechanism for promoting the development and understanding of radioecology, and the European Commission has benefited from UIR initiatives, especially as concerns the exchange of information with countries outside the European Community.
UIR has provided advice to the European Commission on priorities for radioecological studies with specific reference to aquatic ecosystems, semi-natural ecosystems, the effects of radiation on natural populations, and less-commonly considered radionuclides. The study on priorities for radioecology has addressed other topic areas worthy of potential future study, especially in relation to problems of the nuclear industry associated with radioactive waste disposal. The UIR Newsletter has succeeded in keeping radioecologists and other interested parties informed about developments in radioecology. The various Steering Committees have continued to provide a mechanism for generating and motivating networks for the exchange of information, especially as regards countries of the former Soviet Union.
At the same time, UIR has attempted to take a more pro-active role than previously by generating agreements for the development and financing of future studies, the most important of which are the current agreement with the Chernobyl Zone Administration to assist with the development of a management strategy for the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, and for the development of an independent centre for radioecological studies in the Urals (one of the founding regions of modern radioecology). At the request of the European Commission, UIR has attempted to forge links with other organisations having a bearing on radiation protection such as EURADOS and EULEP. The well-developed administrative structure of UIR will assist with the development of these links and the existing Newsletter and Advisory Panel will help to ensure that activities in radiation protection are brought to the attention of public, administrative and scientific organisations alike.
GENERAL FRAMEWORK OF IUR PROGRAMME
It is of concern that support for Radioecology should continue at all times and not simply be a short term response to major accidental releases of radioactive material. Continuous research is needed to maintain progress in this important area of environmental sciences.
Recently the Board of Council of IUR taking into account the expertise of its members and the flexibility of the organization. It is important to remember that IUR in its various activities should be concerned primarily with Radioecology in both basic and applied areas. Where appropriate, such activities can involve matters relating to Radiation Protection, especially in the context of Ecology. But IUR should not become involve in proper scientific research and in questions that are best handled by the appropriate scientific disciplines such as, for example, Meteorology, Botany, Physiology etc...
The proposal aims to promote:
1) the cooperation and the exchange of information between radioecologists, in particular from Eastern European countries and other countries outside EC, in order to stimulate interactions that would increase our understanding of Radioecology problems; the Newsletter publications playing an important role in this context;
2) the formation and training of young scientists: the valuable experience gained by IUR in organizing a successful Summerschool in MOL (JULY 1990) reinforces the ascertaining that such an activity represents one of the best means to raise interest for Radioecology among the young scientists. Training courses on specialized radioecological topics are also foreseen, as well as the development of a curriculum for a textbook on Radioecology; 3) the fulfilment of the objectives of several specified Task-Forces, dealing respectively with: a) the priorities in Radioecology, b) the relative contribution of various exposure pathways in differents, c) the assessment of the relative importance of various parameters for the contamination of freshwater fish, d) the behaviour of less commonly considered radionuclides.