Towards a self sustaining European Technology Platform (NERIS-TP) on Preparedness for Nuclear and Radiological Emergency Response and Recovery
KARLSRUHER INSTITUT FUER TECHNOLOGIE
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
€ 264 102
Wolfgang Raskob (Mr.)
Sort by EU Contribution
CENTRE D'ETUDE SUR L'EVALUATION DE LA PROTECTION DANS LE DOMAINE NUCLEAIRE
€ 284 787
DIREKTORATET FOR STRALEVERN OG ATOMSIKKERHET
€ 151 450
€ 53 140
UNIVERSIDAD POLITECNICA DE MADRID
€ 39 000
CENTRO DE INVESTIGACIONES ENERGETICAS, MEDIOAMBIENTALES Y TECNOLOGICAS-CIEMAT
€ 48 150
MUTADIS CONSULTANTS SARL
€ 101 254
"INSTITUTUL NATIONAL DE CERCETARE -DEZVOLTARE PENTRU FIZICA SI INGINERIE NUCLEARA ""HORIA HULUBEI"" (IFIN-HH)"
€ 28 375
"NATIONAL CENTER FOR SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH ""DEMOKRITOS"""
€ 74 000
DANMARKS TEKNISKE UNIVERSITET
€ 114 771
FORSVARET OG FORSVARSMINISTERIETS STYRELSER
PROLOG DEVELOPMENT CENTER A/S
€ 20 677,50
Public Health England an Executive Agency of the Dept of Health
€ 18 316
NORGES MILJO-OG BIOVITENSKAPLIGE UNIVERSITET
UKRAINIAN CENTER OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND WATER PROJECTS OF ACADEMY OF TECHNOLOGICAL SCIENCES OF UKRAINE LLC
€ 84 000
BUNDESAMT FUER STRAHLENSCHUTZ
€ 21 000
STUDIECENTRUM VOOR KERNENERGIE / CENTRE D'ETUDE DE L'ENERGIE NUCLEAIRE
€ 20 050
PANEPISTIMIO DYTIKIS MAKEDONIAS
€ 31 500
€ 79 017,50
Department of Health england
€ 22 157,50
Grant agreement ID: 269718
1 February 2011
31 January 2014
€ 2 722 760
€ 1 455 747,50
KARLSRUHER INSTITUT FUER TECHNOLOGIE
Improving emergency response and recovery
Grant agreement ID: 269718
1 February 2011
31 January 2014
€ 2 722 760
€ 1 455 747,50
KARLSRUHER INSTITUT FUER TECHNOLOGIE
Discover other articles in the same domain of application
Final Report Summary - NERIS-TP (Towards a self sustaining European Technology Platform (NERIS-TP) on Preparedness for Nuclear and Radiological Emergency Response and Recovery)
Having started in February 2011, the NERIS-TP project (Towards a self-sustaining European Technology Platform (NERIS-TP) on Preparedness for Nuclear and Radiological Emergency Response and Recovery) combined eleven leading research organisations in the nuclear emergency management area with four SMEs and four governmental organisations from 13 countries to address open topics which had been identified following the EURANOS project (European approach to nuclear and radiological emergency management and rehabilitation strategies). Within the three years of operation, the project achieved results in the following areas
• Establishing and operation of a European platform on emergency and post-accident preparedness and management (The NERIS Platform) to further improve emergency response and recovery preparedness in Europe
• Development of a screening model to test the new ICRP-103 recommendations in respect to national implementation plans
• Improvement of the two late phase modes ERMIN (inhabited areas) and AgriCP (agricultural production) to better deal with the request from the end users
• Coupling the emergency information system of the IAEA with the existing European Decision Support Systems (RODOS/ARGOS) by developing an appropriate interface and a meteorological model chain that provides meteorological data for the assessments from freely available world-wide data
• Strengthening of the preparedness at the local/national level by setting up dedicated fora and developing new tools or adapting the tools developed within the EURANOS projects
The new simulation models are integrated in ARGOS and JRodos and will be delivered to the end users in the next operational versions. Furthermore, dissemination workshops and exercises have been conducted in the second half of the project to distribute the information on the new tools to all interested parties. This resulted in several national exercises testing the new products and providing feedback to the developers. A dissemination workshop with 82 participants was conducted at the end of the project bringing national and international experts as well as local stakeholders from 20 countries together discussing the results of the project and the way forward.
Of particular importance is the promotion of the European platform NERIS on emergency and post-accident preparedness and management. The platform provides a forum for national bodies, expert organisations, universities and research institutes as well as non-governmental stakeholders. The sustainability was achieved as 49 members joined the Platform and so far 20 of them are supporting members providing fees for the operation of the secretariat of the Platform. The platform will play an important role in identifying future research needs at the European level. Such information is essential when defining future research programmes and prioritising radiation protection research in general as is on-going within Horizon2020.
In this way, the NERIS-TP projects helped to achieve a greater harmonisation in Europe by improving European decision support systems and establishing a sustainable platform that combines all important players in emergency and post-accident preparedness and management in one single organisation.
Project Context and Objectives:
Following the European project EURANOS which brought together 50 organisations from 23 European Member states, a sound basis for emergency management and long term rehabilitation was achieved. Key objectives of the EURANOS project were to collate information on the likely effectiveness and applicability of a wide range of countermeasures, to provide guidance to emergency management organisations and decision makers on the establishment of an appropriate response strategy and to further enhance advanced decision support systems (DSS), in particular, RODOS but also ARGOS and MOIRA, through feedback from their operational use. Furthermore, the project aimed to develop guidance to assist Member States in preparedness for nuclear and radiological emergency response and recovery and to maintain and enhance knowledge and competence through emergency exercises, training and education. However, several areas have been identified that required further research at the European level. To close these gaps, the NERIS-TP project has been created addressing the following topics:
• Support the creation and operation of a European platform on emergency and post-accident preparedness and management to further improve emergency response and recovery preparedness in Europe
• Improve the early and late countermeasure models EMERSIM and ARGOS-EC (both for screening), ERMIN (inhabited areas) and AgriCP (agricultural production) for the new ICRP-103 approach for emergency and existing situations
• Coupling an emergency information system with the existing European Decision Support Systems (RODOS/ARGOS) by developing an interface to the USIE message of the IAEA and a meteorological model chain that provides meteorological data for the assessments from freely available world-wide data
• Strengthen the preparedness at the local/national level by setting up dedicated fora and developing new tools or adapting the tools developed within the EURANOS projects
In 2010, the NERIS platform on emergency and post-accident preparedness and management has been established. The platform aims to integrate all interested stakeholders into one organisation. Within the NERIS-TP project, the NERIS platform should be further strengthened and means developed to assure that the platform will be self-sustainable at the end of the three years. The platform itself should address the following topics:
• Establish a forum for dialogue between European, national and local authorities, Technical Support Organisations (TSOs), professional organisations, research institutes, universities, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and local and professional stakeholders to initiate and support through partnership European, regional, national and local activities and projects in nuclear and radiological emergency response and recovery preparedness.
• Initiate and coordinate networking activities to share experience, to contribute to a better harmonisation in Europe, to maintain and adapt existing tools and methods, and to develop new technical and governance approaches on nuclear and radiological emergency response and recovery preparedness.
• Ensure a supranational training programme by continuing the training courses developed during the EURANOS project and by launching new training courses according to the needs of all the various actors.
In this way, the NERIS platform will build the focal point for any further coordinated activities in this area in Europe.
In 2007, the new ICRP Recommendations on radiation protection principles were issued presenting a distinct evolution of the former ones issued more than 10 years earlier. The new recommendations propose an integrated treatment of all exposure pathways for accidental and existing exposure situations thus differing considerably from the existing concept of single exposure pathways resulting in actions such as sheltering, evacuation and distribution of stable iodine tablets. Introducing this integrated approach with the residual dose after a certain period as the reference value for any management strategy, the current national approaches as well as supporting tools have to be revised. This new approach is presented in details in ICRP Publication 109 and 111.
As none of the existing models can deal with these new recommendations, new models have to be developed and existing ones improved. In particular an ICRP screening module should be developed allowing to consider all exposure pathways when developing countermeasure strategies.
In the longer term, the simulation model ERMIN for inhabited areas need improvements to support the user in developing countermeasure strategies. To facilitate this, a wizard might be developed which identifies those surfaces in the urban environment which contribute mainly to the dose. Knowing the contributing surfaces, the wizard should also support the selection of appropriate measures reducing the doses.
Early warning information
Early warning systems are operated in Europe; the European Community Urgent Radiological Information Exchange (ECURIE), and internationally, the Unified System for Information Exchange in Incidents and Emergencies (USIE) of the IAEA. The country where an incident happens, issues an early warning message that is immediately further distributed by one or both of these systems. Information about the incident includes among others its location and potential releases of radioactive materials. The objective of NERIS-TP is, not to couple that information automatically to a DSS to avoid copy and paste errors and speed up the assessment process.
To facilitate the applicability of the DSS to an incident location all over the world, meteorological data has to be provided in a fast and easy way. Such a procedure has to be developed using freely available weather data.
Preparedness at national and local level
The local authorities have to carry out work in case of a nuclear or radiological incident. Training and competence, however, is often focusing on the national level. As part of the EURANOS project local initiatives have been supported in using some of the EURANOS products: the Governance Framework for Preparedness, Handbooks for Countermeasures and DSS. In particular the RODOS system has been tested in several communities in France, Spain and Belgium, pointing out the potential of the use of such a tool locally and also the needs for adaptation. Even if this activity resulted in some modifications of RODOS, there was a clear need to develop mechanisms and tools necessary for exchanges between the local and national levels. Therefore, the NERIS-TP project has to address this issue and identify the needs of the local administrations as well as strengthening the interaction between national and local stakeholders.
Research activities of the NERIS-TP project can be grouped in three categories
1. Support the creation and operation of a European platform on emergency and post-accident preparedness and management to further improve emergency response and recovery preparedness in Europe
2. Improve decision support systems (DSS) such as ARGOS and RODOS, in particular with respect to the ICRP-103 recommendations and the world-wide applicability
3. Strengthen the preparedness at the local/national level by setting up dedicated fora and developing new tools or adapting the tools developed within the EURANOS projects
The European platform on emergency and post-accident preparedness and management (NERIS Platform) was launched in June 15, 2010. The main objectives of the NERIS platform are to improve the effectiveness of current European, national and local approaches for preparedness concerning nuclear or radiological emergency response and recovery, promote more coherent approaches in Europe through the establishment of networking activities, maintain and improve know-how and technical expertise among all interested stakeholders in Europe by developing a supranational training programme, and to identify needs for further developments and address new and emerging challenges.
Within the three years of the NERIS-TP project, the objectives of the platform were sharpened and its operation supported with a secretariat.
The objectives developed for the NERIS platform are:
• to improve the effectiveness of current European, national and local approaches for preparedness concerning nuclear or radiological emergency response and recovery;
• to promote more coherent approaches in preparedness for nuclear or radiological emergency response and recovery throughout Europe;
• to identify gaps and needs for further developments in preparedness for nuclear or radiological emergency response and recovery;
• to address new and emerging challenges in the field of preparedness for nuclear and radiological emergency response and recovery.
In line with objective to promote more coherent approaches in Europe, three working groups were established supporting the two European research projects NERIS-TP and PREPARE. These groups are of high interest for the research projects as they provide a wider feedback mechanism and integrate organisations such as IAEA, ICRP and OECD/NEA who are not part of the consortium.
• A Working Group on “the practical implementation of the ICRP recommendations” to develop guidance and adapt existing Decision Support Systems to the new approach for emergency and recovery preparedness and management.
• A Working Group on “processes and tools for emergency and rehabilitation preparedness at community level” to develop user-friendly processes and tools to assist communities in preparing for local cooperation.
• A Working group on the “contaminated goods issues” to contribute to the development of strategies, guidance and tools for the management of the contaminated products, in particular foodstuffs, taking into account the viewpoints of producers, processing and retail industries and consumers.
A further important aspect of the NERIS platform was the creation of an RTD committee responsible for the identification of research needs at the European level. In this respect, a Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) has been developed focusing on the following areas:
• Area 1. New challenges in atmospheric & aquatic modelling - Needs for improvement
• Area 2. New challenges for better dose assessments and decision support based on improved knowledge: source term, scenarios, etc.
• Area 3. New challenges in stakeholder involvement and local preparedness and communication strategies
So far more than 30 research items have been identified within the three areas. The next step will be to prioritise these items and come up with a clear ranking of important research priorities to be potentially addressed in future European research programmes. This prioritisation will be completed by September 2014 at the latest. A first draft will become available by mid of 2014. Potential research priorities so far proposed are
• Extend the capabilities of the atmospheric dispersion models by considering the “wet” deposition by snow; to be started by a review of the current approaches
• Development of models for the urban areas focusing on waste water from decontamination actions and contamination of water in urban areas in general
• Develop local radioecological models and integrate them into a general Decision Support System (DSS) to interlink with monitoring information and the more global foodchain and dose models. Applicable at farm level, simple to use, but integrated in the overall picture
• Investigate model uncertainties and how this can be communicated in the model results and in the DSS to help decision makers in understanding the usefulness of a map result
o This may have many subtopics which require further prioritisation
• Improving the decision making processes and their interactions in an emergency event and the recovery
o Decision making for all involved stakeholders taking into account the complexity and the large uncertainty of the situation
o Robust decision making
o Develop the best possible way how to use the results of a DSS
o Usage of formal decision aiding tools for the various concerned stakeholders (e.g. Multi Criteria Decision Analysis)
o Others to be defined
• Monitoring strategies – how to learn from past events
o How to integrate results from professionals and lay people into one common operational picture at the various stages of an emergency and recovery situation
An important aspect of the activities related to the NERIS platform was to achieve self-sustainability. This required the change of the statutes and that the Platform received a legal status. As a consequence, the NERIS Platform was registered on August 28, 2012 as legal European Association under the French Law of 1901. Following this step, the NERIS members have been invited to become supporting organisation and to sign the new statutes giving the possibility to participate in the key decision regarding the activities of the NERIS Platform through the General Assembly and the capacity to be candidate for becoming a member of the NERIS Management Board. So far the financial support amounts to 1 000 € for college 1 organisations - authorities, TSOs, operators, professional organizations - and 300 € for college 2 organisations - research institutes/universities, consultants, local and national stakeholders, NGOs-. To date, 20 members of the NERIS Platform are supporting organisations. In future, the financial support has to be increased either by attracting more organisations to become a supporting member or by raising the fees.
Improvement of decision support systems
Within the three years of the NERIS-TP project, the following components of European DSS such as ARGOS and RODOS have been improved.
• Development of a screening model to be used to prepare countermeasures strategies
• Further development of the existing late phase modules ERMIN for inhabited areas and AgriCP for food to facilitate a better definition of countermeasure strategies
• Development of guidance for the user to define scenarios
• Coupling of a DSS with the early notification system of the IAEA
• Applicability of the DSS world-wide
ICRP screening model
In 2007, the new ICRP Recommendations on radiation protection principles were issued presenting a distinct evolution of the former ones issued more than 10 years earlier. These recommendations play an important role as they influence national, European or even international standards that will become national or international law at one point in time. In the new guidelines, the concept of a “reference level” is proposed for emergency and existing controllable exposure situations that represent the level of dose or risk, above which it is judged to be inappropriate to plan to allow exposures to occur, and for which therefore protective actions should be planned and optimised. This concept as a consequence requires an integrated treatment of all exposure pathways for accidental and existing exposure situations thus differing considerably from the existing concept of single exposure pathways resulting in actions such as sheltering, evacuation and distribution of stable iodine tablets. None of the existing models can deal with these new recommendations.
To deal with these new recommendations in the decision support systems, it was decided to develop a screening model that takes into account all terrestrial exposure pathways, including ingestion, and considers sheltering, evacuation, relocation, food restrictions, and the use of iodine tablets for thyroid blocking, for reducing or avoiding doses. It allows exploring which combination of countermeasures starting with sheltering, evacuation, iodine prophylaxis and food countermeasures is necessary to stay below a pre-defined dose value in a given period, typically one year.
To facilitate the development of appropriate countermeasures, the system also allows for the definition of different zones in which certain boundary conditions such as the time of particular actions can be defined. This allows considering also actions from the past before the ICRP module will be applied. Such an option which is also called “Now-time” is important when planning strategies following a particular contamination and action pattern. The definition of zones is flexible and can be realised via a specific editor.
The ingestion pathways are treated in a specific way. Typically, it is assumed that ingestion plays a minor role in the dose as activity concentrations in foodstuffs are regulated in the European Union. However, some critical groups may not apply to these regulations and therefore the ICRP screening tools allow considering dose from food as additional pathways modifying the total dose. The foodstuff selection considers average as well as critical groups.
The following figure gives exemplarily a schematic representation of the two primary results of the screening assessment for sheltering and evacuation/relocation (S/E/R):
• A screening map showing the "action areas", i.e. the grid cells where the "no action" criterion dose exceeds the reference level, the actions identified by the screening and the respective stay-out-of-area times, and possible 'S/E/R residuum' areas (Figure 1 a)
• A screening map showing the "criterion dose remainder", i.e. the dose differences between the reference level and the criterion dose under the "action assumption" in the action areas, and the criterion dose under the "no action assumption" outside the action areas, respectively (Figure 1 b).
Figure 1: Schematic representation of a screening map
(a) With out-of-area times, days (b) With criterion dose remainder, mSv
As one summarising result, the tool provides information about doses and the actions carried out (S = sheltering, E = evacuation, R = relocation, I = Iodine prophylaxis, CD = criterion dose).
Figure 2: Structure of folder "S-E-R+I analysis, Action pattern"
Following the first evaluation and presentation at the training course “Preparedness for nuclear and radiological emergency response and recovery: Usage of the new products for supporting the management team”, held in Trnava, Slovak Republic on 21 - 25 October 2013, the ICRP screening tool is now implemented in the JRodos system and will be part of the next operational version scheduled for mid of 2014. Furthermore, ideas about future improvements, e.g. adding a criterion for the start of actions, have been received and will be realised upon request from the RODOS Users Group.
Late phase modelling
Work on the further development of the late phase modules focused mainly on the development of the inhabited area model ERMIN 2 including a wizard for the development of strategies. Related to the food countermeasure module AGRICP, a pre-processor was added allowing to start AGRICP from monitoring information. The model was also extended to visualise areas in which the activity levels in food were exceeded.
Main emphasis in the later phase is typically directed towards the decontamination of inhabited areas. Therefore, major effort was invested to improve the inhabited area model ERMIN. This included the development of a wizard that supports the user in defining an appropriate decontamination strategy. This has been realised by an iterative calculation process in which ERMIN defines those surfaces that contribute most to the dose to the population. In this way, the user can revise the decontamination strategy by selecting countermeasures appropriate for that particular surface. The selection process is supported by that wizard in proposing sensible countermeasures. To account for that progress, the name of the model has been changed to “ERMIN 2”.
ERMIN 2 introduces a concept of now. In Figure 3 several events have occurred before now including the passage of the plume and sheltering, and additionally some grass was cut. The public will receive a dose in this period which cannot now be avoided. With ERMIN 2 the user specifies a time for now and the emergency and recovery countermeasures that have been implemented before now. This is termed the ‘no further action’ strategy (NFAS) and all alternative strategies must include the options in the NFAS and cannot contain incompatible options. For example grass cutting cannot be implemented after ploughing of the same surface.
Figure 3: Illustration of the comparison of alternative remediation strategies
ERMIN 2 estimates the residual public doses at a number of times under each strategy including NFAS. Figure 3 shows illustrative results of this calculation as a sequence of bar charts with a reference level imposed. For the first test time (t0) no strategy brings the residual dose below the reference level. At t1 the effect of the strategies can be seen but still no strategy reduced dose sufficiently. However, by t2 strategy 2 is predicted to bring the dose below the reference level and the projected dose with strategy 3 is very close. On this information alone strategy 2 would be selected.
ERMIN 2 supports a link to an external ‘wizard’ to assist the user in selecting countermeasures. The wizard ranks surfaces by dose contribution as calculated by ERMIN and identifies techniques that apply to the highest ranking. It considers deposition conditions and time dependency as some techniques are more effective soon after deposition or after dry deposition alone. Techniques in the database are categorised into either generally applicable or constrained, and either generally acceptable or constrained. Generally applicable techniques do not need specialist material, equipment, skills and are not labour intensive. Generally acceptable techniques do not damage the environment, leave activity in situ or overly disrupt normal life. The classifications are deliberately broad and intended to allow the wizard to suggest a few techniques that are likely to be both effective and feasible.
Figure 4: The RODOS ERMIN tabular interface, showing the drill-down system and use of graphical elements.
Based on the request from the end users, the input interface was refined and implemented in ARGOS and JRodos (see Figure 5).
In ERMIN 2 the number of maps is reduced to include only the basic endpoints; public dose and dose-rates, surface concentration by radionuclide and concentration in air. In addition a new map that shows the time that the residual dose is above the reference dose in each grid square. The table has been enhanced to give more information but in a way that is useful and does not overload the user.
Figure 5: The ARGOS ERMIN user input interface
Among the new endpoints is the maximum time that the residual dose exceeds the reference dose and the user can drill-down into this result to see both the area and the population in the area where the reference dose is exceeded as a function of time. This drill-down facility has been implemented for all the endpoints. The table initially presents a small number of ‘headline’ results but the user is able to drill-down to more detailed results given by time, surface and other dimensions as appropriate. Figure 7 shows the implementation of the drill-down facility in JRodos and it also shows graphical elements being deployed with dose by surface and time being displayed as a bar chart at the bottom. Additionally the user can also specify smaller areas within the entire region of interest. Again they initially see a headline result for the entire region but can drill-down to see results for individual reporting regions.
The implementation of ERMIN 2 within ARGOS (Figure 4) and JRodos (Figure 5) is nearly completed and the model will be delivered in the next operational versions of the two systems. For JRodos, ERMIN 2 was demonstrated at the Trnava workshop and distributed to users for testing in exercises.
Guidance of the user
The development of guidance for the user in setting up scenarios with the JRodos system was revised compared to the initial planning. The work here concentrated on the development of documentation such as a comprehensive description of the results of the JRodos system also pointing out which of the results are important for decision making. The following is an example for the result “activity concentration in air”
The physical unit is Becquerel seconds per cubic metre air, Bq.s/m3.
The result gives the calculated activity concentration in the radioactive cloud for a height of 1m above ground, time-integrated from the start of the calculation until the end of each ADM time step and until the end of the calculation episode and for each radionuclide considered in the LSMC calculation
The result is useful for showing the whole area covered by the radioactive cloud up to the current time step. For non-noble gases, the time-integrated concentration in air is proportional to the local nuclide specific inhalation dose and dry deposition to ground.
Table 1 shows the time-integrated concentration in the air near ground for the radionuclide Cs-137 calculated with the INEX1P2 scenario for July 2, 2010, 09:00 hours (UTC) <=> at the end of the prognosis period, 24 hours after the start of the release.
Table 1: Excerpt from the JRodos Result Guide
In addition, a document has been developed providing guidance how a scenario should be developed and what are the key tasks to be considered.
Coupling of a DSS with the early notification system of the IAEA
In case of a nuclear or radiological emergency, the “accident “ country has to inform other countries and the international community about the event. So far the European Community Urgent Radiological Information Exchange (ECURIE) and the Unified System for Information Exchange in Incidents and Emergencies (USIE) of the IAEA are in use for that purpose. In the frame of the NERIS-TP project it was decided to couple the USIE message with the JRodos system. However, based on the request of the end users, that coupling should be performed as part of JRodos and not as standalone software package.
The integration was realised as a three step process:
• Parsing the incoming USIE xml (here: IRIX format), extract the information on the release time, location and the source term information
• Filling in the RODOS-Lite User Interface or the respective RODOS-Lite xml
• Starting the calculation
With the current implementation, the parsing and conversion is performed first, and then the extracted information is passed to the RODOS-Lite User Interface. In the interface, the user selects that the input shall be imported from an IRIX-type xml file (see Figure 6) and then browses in the usual way to the location on the computer where the file resides.
Figure 6: Selection of the incoming USIE xml message with the RODOS-Lite interface of JRodos
The functionality is implemented in the JRodos system; however the usability is limited to the information sent by the accident country. In this respect the RODOS Users Group has discussed this functionality at their recent meeting in February 2014 and will define further research work if appropriate.
Applicability of the DSS world-wide
Linked with the question of the coupling of a DSS with an early notification system is the question of the applicability world-wide. Nuclear incidents are not limited to a country and authorities have to answer questions related to the health of personal or tourists in the "accident" country. In this respect, it is necessary that the DSS can be operated wherever an incident may appear. To realise this, software tools have been produced which established the capability to run a DSS for any arbitrary location on the earth using freely available global meteorological data. The freely available global meteorological data are those of the Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) model GFS operated by the National Centers for Environmental Protection (NCEP) from the US, which are made available for downloading at the NOMADS (National Operational Model Archive & Distribution System) servers. These global data are “downscaled” to the desired spatial and temporal resolution by the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, which is also free for use. The overall result of the above activities is that now the LSMC (Local Scale Model Chain) of JRodos is capable to run for an arbitrary location on the earth using WRF prognoses.
Figure 7: schematic picture of downscaling global weather data to local conditions (from DWD)
The first step in this process is the downloading of the global data from the NCEP forecast and final analyses data from the NOMADS servers (http://nomads.ncdc.noaa.gov/). This step is invoked either by a so called WRF Launcher or independently issued by the user. The input information required by the program concerns the format - GRIB1 and GRIB2 – of the data to be downloaded, the start and end dates for the final analysis data and the start date and forecast hours for the forecast global data. Then the program prepares a list of the appropriate urls of the files to be downloaded. Finally the global data are downloaded and placed in the directory specified by the user.
Once the data are available, the WRF model system performs calculations using as initial and boundary conditions the downloaded global meteorological data. This task can be invoked either from inside JRodos or externally by the user. In all cases, the triggering message is in the same format (xml) and includes the coordinates of the computational domain’s centre (release location), the radius of the domain, start date / time and length of the requested forecast. Additional input information for the tool concerns the configuration of the nested computational domains used by WRF.
Guidelines for downloading, installing and using WRF have been documented. Sensitivity and performance studies of WRF have been performed too. Software for connecting the long-range dispersion model MATCH of JRodos with the WRF results has also been developed. The WRF2MATCH program interpolates the output data of the WRF model on vertical levels, converts WRF into MATCH related parameters and writes data into the format of the World Meteorological Organization GRIB, accessible by MATCH.
Finally data assimilation capabilities have been integrated in the Meteorological Pre-Processor (MPP) of JRODOS to correct the forecast meteorological data taking into account local measurements. Data Assimilation (DA) algorithms improve the agreement of the meteorological fields, calculated by the MPP, with the local-scale measurements, thus increasing the accuracy of the dispersion models predictions. The methodology is integrated in JRodos as part of Local-Scale Model Chain (LSMC). The option to activate it is set by the user. Data assimilation is performed at a certain time-step if measurement data are found for this time step. The JRodos user interface has been extended to accommodate the new input information related to the functioning of the DA (activating the procedure and setting user’s options). Correctness of the approach has been tested using NWP data calculated with WRF and measurements collected near the Rivne Nuclear Power Plant (RNPP), Ukraine, during several days in December 2012.
Local – national cooperation
The overall objective was to strengthen the preparedness at national and local level in European countries towards nuclear and radiological preparedness and recovery through:
1. Testing the viability of local-national forums where emergency and recovery strategies could be elaborated and cooperation mechanisms explored, involving all levels and sectors that would be affected by a radioactive contamination incident/accident;
2. Developing robust and user friendly tools to assist the territories and local communities in preparing for the local actions and cooperation (within and between territories/ communities) in case of incidents/accidents;
3. Developing mechanisms and tools necessary for the feedback from local level to national level on implementation of mitigating actions in a response phase; and
4. Fostering cooperation between local, national and international stakeholders, decision-makers and experts involved in preparedness and recovery, through activities jointly with the European NERIS platform.
The first step was the initiation or consolidation of local-national fora in Belarus, France, Norway, Slovakia and Spain. An important aspect of the work in the fora was to discuss the need to adapt and further develop existing tools to assist the municipalities in emergency planning and response. Belarus and Slovakia also arranged a technical visit between the two countries including a visit to the contaminated areas in Belarus due to the Chernobyl accident. This clearly strengthened the understanding of the necessary procedures to manage such a long term contamination. The fora identified the following issues considered as most important in post-accident management preparedness:
• Withdrawal of emergency countermeasures
• Management of contaminated inhabited areas
• Management of contaminated food production systems
• Management of drinking water supply and water uses
• Rehabilitation of living conditions in the contaminated areas
MOIRA for example has been used in table-top exercises in the local-national forums in Spain, where there is much interest in studying the problems associated with contamination of hydraulic systems, in which radioactivity in water and fish may create long-term problems. For the scenarios considered, the discussion focussed on the possibility of alternative drinking water supplies for periods of a few months, and the need to ban fish consumption for some years. In general, use of water for irrigating crops does not result to be technically unacceptable, provided that the cropping areas would not have been contaminated by direct deposition from the radioactive cloud. During the NERIS-TP work in Spain, MOIRA was presented and adapted to the local conditions.
Figure 8: Structure of the MOIRA model for the lower part of the Spanish section of the Tagus River
The various fora also concluded that decision support systems and other tools can be of great help by providing a realistic picture of the radiological situation and its foreseeable evolution with time, as well as by giving a proper assessment of the effectiveness of potential candidate countermeasures to look for optimized management strategies.
Based on feedback from gatherings in the local-national forums and on the request from local stakeholders (municipalities or local institutions), existing tools were adapted to be more user friendly, mainly JRodos, or tested in local-national exercises, mainly MOIRA and sub-modules of JRodos. For example, a completely new user interface was developed for JRodos supporting the input of information either by wizards or by a simplification and restriction to the necessary parameters.
Figure 9: Selection of the wind direction graphically
Similar to JRodos, also the MOIRA user interface and the automatic report generation was improved to attend suggestions from users.
A new tool was developed in Belarus called microRAINBOW. It is a user friendly tool for farmers in contaminated areas that could assist them in the planning of crops over the years based on simple input parameters such as soil type, fertilisation quantity used and contamination levels on the plots. The tool displays results on the contamination levels in various crops over a given time period. Such a tool is of particular importance for planning the recovery phase as general recommendations are not possible and one has to act on the farm level.
Figure 10: The main window of microRainbow
The project succeeded to expand the work beyond Europe. Representatives from the Japanese FAIRDO project (Fukushima Action Research on effective Decontamination Operation) reported about local-national initiatives in Japan following the Fukushima incident and pointed out which topics have been identified as most important.
Workshops and meetings also strengthened the link between the NERIS-TP project and the NERIS platform in the area of stakeholder engagement. New ideas were discussed and it was agreed that a knowledge data base should be developed supporting the setting up of stakeholder panels and how this was realised in the various countries. This activity will be followed by the working group two of the NERIS platform.
At the final dissemination workshop in Oslo in January 2014, many participants from the local-national fora in Belarus, France, Norway, Slovakia and Spain attended and gave presentations on the experience gained during the NERIS-TP project. This facilitated an exchange of experience between stakeholders from different countries.
Besides the many positive results it must be recognised that the work performed is only a tiny step in the right direction. Running the local-national fora is rewarding, but also time-consuming and the tools requested by them could only be partly realised in NERIS-TP due to the limited resources and time. Furthermore, the local-national feedback when implementing measures during the response phase was supposed to be addressed in the fora towards the end of the project, but there was not enough time to involve the various stakeholders fully in such a process. Therefore, this activity will be followed in particular in the Nordic countries also beyond the end of the NERIS-TP project.
The Fukushima accident in Japan clearly demonstrated the importance of a harmonised response of all European Member States to a nuclear or radiological threat. In this sense, most important in NERIS-TP was the establishment of a sustainable European Platform that is the focal point for improving the effectiveness of current European, national and local approaches for preparedness concerning nuclear or radiological emergency response and recovery. It will promote more coherent approaches therein throughout Europe, identify gaps and needs for further developments, address new and emerging challenges and maintain and improve know-how and technical expertise in preparedness for nuclear or radiological emergency response and recovery among all interested stakeholders in Europe. With 49 members, including 20 supporting members, the sustainability of the Platform has been achieved at the end of the project.
A second important impact can be seen in the fact that existing gaps identified by the operational community have been closed by introducing new methods such as the new models to support the implementation of new ICRP recommendations or the application of the decision support systems worldwide. In particular the ICRP screening tool is an important instrument to explore the consequences of the recent European regulation, based on the ICRP 103 recommendation, on modifications of national intervention criteria to comply with the concept of a residual dose criterion for the first year. The applicability of decision support systems together with the possibility to link them directly with an early notification message also increases the added value of such tools for a fast and comprehensive decision making.
A further impact is the better preparedness for such an unlikely event. To reach this objective, national-local fora have been established identifying needs at the local level. This is in particular important as finally, the local administration has to carry out the longer term actions. Decision making on the longer term requires the integration of stakeholder organisations in the decision making process. A starting point was made with NERIS-TP setting up such fora/panels in several European countries. However, there is still further work necessary to intensify the interaction between all concerned stakeholders.
The new products developed in this project are part of new operational versions of the decision support systems ARGOS and RODOS. In this way, they will be distributed all over Europe. The 49 members of the NERIS platform will also be involved in this dissemination process. The established initiatives at the local level will further support the dissemination of the products via their means of communication in international platforms. In this way, best practice and harmonisation of methods and tools will be promoted by introducing the new products at the level expected by the public, from all organisations working in the nuclear field caring for the population. Furthermore, European wide training and exercises workshops have been carried out to disseminate the results to all interested parties.
Within the NERIS-TP project two major workshops have been organised. First a workshop related to practical implementation of the new ICRP recommendations and second a final dissemination workshop at the end of the project. In between, the working groups of the NERIS platform organised special meetings discussing individual topics related to their working group theme.
The NERIS ICRP Workshop was organized in cooperation with ICRP aiming to provide a forum for discussion and sharing of experiences on the implementation of the ICRP Recommendations. International, European and national perspectives were presented. 88 specialists from 51 different organizations from 26 countries participated in the workshop. Facilitated discussions were devoted to specific issues related to both the application of ICRP recommendations and methodological aspects of decision support tools. Topical break-out groups focused on how decision aiding tools may support the decision making process and gave insights into development and implementation of protection strategies. The topics for the four parallel break-out group sessions were:
• Topic 1: Regulatory challenges in the preparation for an emergency and how simulation models may support this
• Topic 2: Challenges in the practical implementation of countermeasure strategies and their optimisation during an emergency and how simulation models can support this
• Topic 3: Challenges in the practical implementation of countermeasure strategies and their optimisation in existing exposure situations and how decision aiding tools can support this
• Topic 4: Societal and communication issues and how decision aiding tools might support this.
This workshop initiated a large momentum in bringing together a wide community of participants to discuss openly the ICRP recommendations, and challenges, experiences and views with regard to their practical implementation. It facilitated access to expertise and technology and helped to maintain competence in the field of management of nuclear and radiological emergencies for the benefit of European countries and citizens, as well as non-European countries. The publication of the workshop presentations, conclusions and recommendations as well as key issues and direction forward was prepared and conducted via the NEREIS Platform web page (http://www.eu-neris.net/index.php/activities/workshops/224-feedback-from-the-1st-icrp-workshop-6-8-february-2012.html). The main presentations were published in a special issue of the French journal “Radioprotection” as full reviewed papers; RADIOPROTECTION 2013, vol. 48, No 5, ISBN 978-2-7598-0975-2, issued April 2013.
The final Dissemination Workshop “Strengthening the Preparedness at National and Territorial Level Using New Tools and Methods – Stakeholders Experiences”, was conducted in Oslo from 22 to 24 January 2014. International organisations such as HERCA, EC DG Research, IAEA, OECD/NEA, and NGOs such as NTW (Nuclear Transparency Watch) and GMF (Group of European Municipalities with Nuclear Facilities) as well as representatives of the OPERRA project participated in the workshop and particular panels.
82 experts and stakeholders participated in the workshop, representing twenty countries. Participants came from Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Nigeria, Norway, Republic of Croatia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Taiwan, and United Kingdom. The workshop language was English with simultaneous translations into French, Spanish and Russian to accommodate the needs of local stakeholders from Belarus, France, Slovakia and Spain.
The first day of the workshop focused on the local-national cooperation in emergency and recovery preparedness and the evaluation of national-local processes. Following the general introduction into methodologies and approaches, the experience by Spanish, French, Norwegian, Slovak and Belarus participants were discussed. Further to this, Japanese colleagues presented the importance of stakeholder involvement within the FAIRDO project and the ICRP dialogues seminars in Fukushima. A discussion session was organised in smaller groups to obtain views on the way forward.
The second day of the dissemination workshop was dedicated to the presentation and demonstration of the new methodologies and tools. A series of demonstrations and presentations focused in particular on:
- Automated assessment of doses and potential consequences initiated by a message from the early notification system of the IAEA (USIE),
- World-wide applicability of JRodos,
- Operation of Decision Support Systems for Nuclear Emergencies based on freely available meteorological data – New functionalities developed in the NERIS-TP project,
- ICRP 103 Screening Tool,
- ERMIN – Urban Area Countermeasure Program,
- AgriCP – Agricultural Countermeasure Program.
Further to this, the use of the simulation capabilities of ERMIN by Japanese colleagues for the Fukushima incident was presented. Other local representatives reported about their experience with these tools.
The third day started with the feedback from discussion groups and was followed by a panel discussion in which representatives of HERCA, EC, IAEA, NEA, NTW, GMF and OPERRA Project presented their view on the way forward related to research and for building resilience for emergency management and rehabilitation preparedness. This was accompanied by presentations of the NERIS Platform, the NERIS Strategic Research Agenda and the European research project PREPARE.
The authors of the papers presented at the workshop will prepare papers to be published in a special issue of the French journal “Radioprotection”. The publishing is expected in autumn 2014.
Further to these workshops, scientific papers have been submitted and presented, to be mentioned here in particular are the international IRPA conference in 2012 and the regional European IRPA conference scheduled for June 2014.
Exploitation of results
The training course “Preparedness for nuclear and radiological emergency response and recovery: Usage of the new products for supporting the management team”, was held in Trnava, Slovak Republic on 21 - 25 October 2013 with 22 participants from Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, India, The Netherlands , Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, and Slovak Republic. One participant represented the IAEA. The course aimed to widespread the usage of the new tools developed and integrated into the Decision Support Systems, such as RODOS and ARGOS, using JRodos as example.
Active participation in technical national exercises and the use of the end products in the community was announced during the training course. In this way, the participants had the opportunity to become familiar with the new tools and establish knowledge and skills for the preparation and conduction of exercises in their countries.
Technical and dissemination exercises as well as national workshops have been conducted in the Netherlands, Slovak Republic, Poland and Finland from November 2013 up to January 2014. Other countries expressed their willingness to perform exercises which will be carried out beyond NERIS-TP. The results of the exercise performance in Spain, Slovak Republic and Japan have been presented during the NERIS-TP dissemination workshop, held on January 22-24, 2014 in Oslo, Norway.
NERIS Platform web page
The NERIS platform Web Site was developed and can be accessed via the URL www.eu-neris.net. The web page contains information about topics of interest related to preparedness for nuclear and radiological emergency response and recovery from the NERIS platform or other organisations/networks (ICRP publications related to these issues, presentation of international workshops or seminars, etc.). It also contains information about the platform members, platform activities such as workshops, training courses, committees and the management board. The European projects NERIS-TP and PREPARE are represented together with information about former projects such as EURANOS.
A major part is devoted to information about the role of the platform in relation to international bodies.
Important to mention is also the access to the newsletter and the statutes as well as documents such as the Strategic Research Agenda.
The web page contains also a “member” section with a forum to initiate and facilitate discussions about topics of interest. This area requires a specific username and password.
Figure 11: The NERIS platform web page (URL: www.eu-neris.net) accessed March 12, 2014
Outreach to other organisations
The NERIS platform secretariat has established links with other European or international networks and organisations (ICRP, NEA through WPNEM and CRPPH, IAEA, etc.) to find common interests and to avoid work duplication.
• CRPPH/NEA: the CRPPH (NEA Committee on Radiation Protection and Public Health) provided information on activities related to the Fukushima accident. In addition, NEA participated to the ICRP Workshop in February 2012 and the final dissemination workshop in January 2014. NEA was invited at the occasion of the first meeting of the Working Group on “Contaminated Goods Issues” in Paris (October 2012) and the NERIS Topical Workshop organised in Madrid in May 2013.
• HERCA (Heads of European Radiological Protection Competent Authorities) and European Network on Radioecology ‘Alliance’: A meeting has been arranged on the 2nd July 2012 in Paris to present the three networks activities (HERCA, Alliance and NERIS) and to see which type of cooperation could be of interest for these organisations. It was agreed to continue to have regular exchange of information between NERIS, HERCA and the Alliance network. In addition, the NERIS R&D Committee will examine and comment the Alliance Strategic Research Agenda. In addition, HERCA participated in the final Dissemination Workshop in Oslo in January 2014.
• ICRP: The first NERIS Workshop on “Preparedness for Nuclear and Radiological Emergency Response and Recovery: Implementation of ICRP Recommendations” has been organised in cooperation with the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP). In addition, NERIS has been accepted as Liaison Organisation to ICRP and was invited to participate to the dedicated meeting of ICRP liaison organisations during the Second International Symposium on the System of Radiological Protection, October 22-24, 2013 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
• IAEA: A representative of IAEA was involved in the ICRP Workshop and IAEA was also invited to the NERIS Topical Workshop on Contaminated Goods in Madrid in May 2013 and to the final Dissemination Workshop in Oslo in January 2014.
• GMF invited the NERIS members to their General Assembly in October 2013 in Borssele and several representatives of GMF participated to the final Dissemination Workshop in Oslo in January 2014.
In addition, in order to set up a common reflection and share issues on lessons to be learnt from the Fukushima accident in the emergency and recovery phases, contacts with Japanese organisations have been established and they were invited to participate to different meetings of NERIS TP:
• Collaboration has been established between the NERIS Working Group on Local Preparedness and the FAIRDO Project (Fukushima Action Research on effective Decontamination Operation) leaded by the Institute for Global Environment Strategies (IGES) and funded by the Ministry of Environment of Japan. Representatives of NERIS have participated to a mission in Japan during summer 2013 and representatives of the FAIRDO project have been invited to the final dissemination workshop in Oslo in January 2014.
• Contacts have also been established with two other organisations in Japan, which are keen to cooperate and share their experience:
o CRIEPI (Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry): signature of a cooperation agreement in November 2013 and participation to the NERIS Topical Workshop on Contaminated Goods in Madrid in May 2013.
o Fukushima University was invited to the NERIS Topical Workshop on Contaminated Goods in Madrid in May 2013 and meetings were organised in Fukushima to further discuss the possible cooperation on this topic.
List of Websites:
NERIS platform web site: URL: www.eu-neris.net
Mr. Wolfgang Raskob
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Institut für Kern- und Energietechnik
Tel: +49 721 608 22480
Fax: +49 721 608 25508
Participant no. Participant organisation name Country
1 (Coordinator) Karlsruhe Institute of Technology Germany
2 Centre d'étude sur l'Evaluation de la Protection dans le domaine Nucléaire France
3 Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority Norway
4 VUJE Inc. Slovak Republic
5 Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority of Finland Finland
6 Universidad Politécnica de Madrid Spain
7 Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas Spain
8 MUTADIS France
9 “Horia Hulubei” National Institute of R&D for Physics and Nuclear Engineering Romania
10 National Centre for Scientific Research “Demokritos” Greece
11 Risø National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy Technical University of Denmark Denmark
12 Danish Emergency Management Agency Denmark
13 Prolog Development Centre Denmark
14 Health Protection Agency United Kingdom
15 Norwegian University of Life Sciences Norway
16 Ukrainian Center of Environmental and Water Projects Ukraine
17 Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz Germany
18 Belgian Nuclear Research Centre Belgium
19 University of Western Macedonia Greece
Grant agreement ID: 269718
1 February 2011
31 January 2014
€ 2 722 760
€ 1 455 747,50
KARLSRUHER INSTITUT FUER TECHNOLOGIE
Deliverables not available
Publications not available
Grant agreement ID: 269718
1 February 2011
31 January 2014
€ 2 722 760
€ 1 455 747,50
KARLSRUHER INSTITUT FUER TECHNOLOGIE
Grant agreement ID: 269718
1 February 2011
31 January 2014
€ 2 722 760
€ 1 455 747,50
KARLSRUHER INSTITUT FUER TECHNOLOGIE