Presentation of the Plenary Invited Speakers

 

Professor Brenda Howard MBE

Professor at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Lancaster, UK

 

Brenda Howard’s research focus is on environmental radioactivity. She has chaired Working groups on modelling and transfer of radionuclides in the human foodchain and to wildlife under the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) EMRAS I, II, MODARIA and MODARIA II programmes and was awarded an MBE for her radioecological work in 2002. She is a member of the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE). She is also an honorary Professor at the University of Nottingham.

Her career spanning thirty six years at CEH has focused on understanding factors affecting radionuclide behaviour in the terrestrial environment, radiation protection of the environment and the development and application of remediation strategies.  She has co-ordinated seven EU framework projects and participated in many others. She was involved in the development of the ERICA Tool and co-edited a special issue on the topic.

She has currently published 155 refereed papers and 20 books. The latter include special issues of journals and contributions to various IAEA documents, notably the chapters on transfer to domestic animals in both TRS 364 and 472 and the environment section of Chernobyl forum report and TRS 479 on transfer to wildlife. She co-edited TRS 475 on remediation and chaired the sub group on remediation for the IAEA Fukushima Report. She is currently a member of the UNSCEAR Expert group on Fukushima. 

 

Talk Summary : A comparison of post accident management after the Chernobyl and Fukushima Daiichi accidents

Howard, B.J., Pröhl, G., Fesenko, S., Tagami, K., Nakayama, S., Balonov. M.

Remediation of terrestrial areas has been previously widely applied in areas contaminated by nuclear facilities, notably a silo explosion at Kyshtym [USSR] and NPP accidents at Windscale [UK], Chernobyl [Former USSR] and Fukushima [Japan]. We compare the exposure pathways and remediation of terrestrial areas for two of the accidents, Chernobyl and Fukushima. Radioiodine and radiocaesium isotopes were important potentially dose-forming radionuclides for both of these accidents. Each of the contaminated areas associated with these accidents differed, to varying extents, in terms of contamination levels and environmental characteristics.

The comparison considers: (i) the challenge being addressed in terms of the release, environmental pathways of the radionuclides and the radiological consequences for the public, (ii) the policy and planning approaches adopted (iii) the strategies used to remediate contaminated areas, (iv) the remediation measures used for both external and internal pathways of exposure, and (v) the outcomes. The comparison utilises the IAEA’s Chernobyl forum report and the recent Fukushima report (IAEA 2015) and associated annexes. For both accident, we supplement this with more recently published information being compiled by MODARIA II Working Group 4. Lessons learned from the comparison which are particularly relevant to radioecological issues are briefly discussed.

 

 

Dr. Ken Buesseler

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Department of Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry, Woods Hole, United States

 

Dr. Buesseler is a Senior Scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution who specializes in the study of natural and man-made radionuclides in the ocean.  His work includes studies of fallout from atmospheric nuclear weapons testing, assessments of Chernobyl impacts on the Black Sea, and examination of radionuclide contaminants in the Pacific resulting from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plants.

Dr. Buesseler has served as Chair of the Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry Department at WHOI, and two years as an Associate Program Director at the US National Science Foundation, Chemical Oceanography Program.  In 2009 he was elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and in 2011 he was noted as the top cited ocean scientist by the Times Higher Education for the decade 2000-2010.   He was honored by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science with their highest level Fellowship award for overseas researchers. He is currently Director of the Center for Marine and Environmental Radioactivity at WHOI (http://www.whoi.edu/CMER), and regularly speaks to public audiences and engages citizens as part of Our Radioactive Ocean (http://ourradioactiveocean.org).  More info at his “Café Thorium” web site (http://cafethorium.whoi.edu).

 

Talk Summary : Fukushima- a view from the ocean

 

The triple disaster of the March 11, 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent radiation releases at Fukushima Dai-ichi were unprecedented events for the ocean and society.  This talk will provide an overview of radionuclides released from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.  Key data sets are combined and the challenges and surprises observed from oceanic radionuclide distributions are identified.  The emphasis is on cesium isotopes, though other radionuclides are also considered.  Topics include:  sources from atmospheric and ocean discharges in 2011 as well as estimates of ongoing releases from groundwater and operations during decommissioning; a cross Pacific Ocean time-series to track transport pathways and mixing in surface and subsurface waters; an extended time-series in marine fish that examines species specific variability in radionuclide content and how results fit current radioecological models; and the transport and burial of particle associated contaminants. Societal impacts are discussed including the difficulties in communicating complex issues and basic health physics to the public, in light of dose assessment models of expected health effects in Japan and along the west coast of N. America.

 

 

Professor Gilles Boeuf

Professor at the University Pierre & Marie Curie, guest professor at the College of France, scientific advisor to Ministry of the Environment, Energy and the Sea

 

 

Gilles Boeuf, specialist of environmental physiology and marine and terrestrial biodiversity, is Professor at the Pierre and Marie Curie University (UPMC) in Paris, assigned to the “Observatoire Oceanologique de Banyuls” where he develops his research within the unit "Integrative Biology of Marine Organisms". He has spent 20 years at Ifremer (the French Research institute for exploitation of the Sea) in Brest and then has been Director of the Oceanographic Observatory, known as the "Arago Laboratory" in Banyuls sur Mer during 6 years, director of the unit "models in cell biology and evolutionary" during 4 years. He has been President of the “Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle” (MNHN), between 2009 and 2015. He has also been a guest professor at the College of France for the academic year 2013-14, on the Chair "sustainable development, energies, environment and societies" and had then dedicated his teaching to the theme "Biodiversity, its crosses with humanity". Today he is scientific advisor for the life sciences and the nature, the climate and the ocean to the Minister of the Environment, Energy and the sea and scientific adviser to the President of the Museum (MNHN). He is President of the Scientific Council of the French Agency for Biodiversity, member of the Bureau of the IPBES, the International Platform for Biodiversity and Ecological Services (intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services of the United Nations). Gilles Boeuf authored more than 400 scientific publications. He has been very involved in the organization of the COP21 and has continued his activities in anticipation of the COP22. He gave very many conferences (> 100 per year) in many countries and frequently participates in broadcasts on radio and television.

 

Talk Summary : The human being in the Biodiversity

 

Biodiversity, much more than a catalog or inventory of species in a given ecosystem, is actually all the relationships that all the living beings have established between themselves and with their environment, it is the “living fraction” of Nature. Life appeared in the ancestral ocean almost 4 billion years ago, 700 million years after the formation of the Earth. For complex metazoan life, life came out from the Ocean only 450 million years ago, and spread to populate lands. Today we have identified more than 2 million of living species , described and registered in the museums and still with us; and the total number of species is in reality well above (10-20 million?). Ecosystems and species are disappearing today at an ever increasing rate (at least 300 times faster than on the last 500 million years, excluding crises) due to human activities; the situation is very worrying under the impact of the destruction and pollution of ecosystems, overexploitations of stocks, the spread of alien species and finally climate change in which human activities clearly contribute. Today, humans amplify a pattern started in the neolithic period more than 12 000 years, guided by an anthropocentric and deleterious thinking of a "domination" of nature. However, we are deeply rooted in nature and cannot do without it: Is a human body not that much of bacteria (on and in our body) that of human cells? A human baby is constituted at birth of ¾ of water! We have collapsed in 42 years more than half of the individuals of the populations of vertebrates. Then how do we organize to curb or eliminate this monstrous waste and prepare a more sustainable aftermath? …and to deserve finally this term of "sapiens" we awarded ourselves….

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