Advancing the measurement of the radiation exposure in large mammals
The purpose of this research is to develop methods that allow direct measurement of wildlife radiation exposure in the environment. The target animals for testing these new approaches is a herd of free ranging reindeer in Norway. These reindeer are targeted for this research because they live in areas contaminated by radioactive fallout from the Chernobyl accident and, as they are important to the Norwegian economy because they are the primary meat source of the country, their radiation levels are required to be monitored. Further, as reindeer are a reference animal for large mammal species, as defined by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), this makes them a suitable target for applying to other monitoring programs in contaminated areas and also compliance monitoring areas.
This work is highly timely because: (i) dose assessment models are being used to make regulatory decisions that have significant economic and societal impacts internationally, but are not able to be fully validated currently; (ii) there is a growing scientific and regulatory need to establish radiation dose-effect relationships for wildlife under field conditions and this requires accurate measurement of dose; and (iii) compliance monitoring is increasingly required of nuclear facilities and the ability to obtain direct measurement of wildlife exposure in the vicinity of such facilities is currently lacking.
TREE students working with reindeer in Norway
Phakphum Aramrum, a TREE PhD student, recently produced this video for the COGER meeting at the University of Glasgow.
His presentation was entitled 'Measuring Norwegian reindeer radiation exposure under field conditions'. It described the experimental site and the management of the Vågå reindeer herd, aspects of dosimetry technologies and his research plans. For more information see the following: