The European Partnership for Radiation Protection Research will contribute to improving the protection of the public, workers, patients and the environment from environmental, occupational and medical exposure to ionizing radiation. It brings together 58 partners representing 22 European Union countries as well as the United Kingdom and Norway, and is coordinated by the French Institute for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN). It is co-financed by the European Union's EURATOM program and the governments of the participating countries. Through the research activities that will be carried out within its framework, PIANOFORTE will contribute to the implementation of European policies such as the European plan to combat cancer, the green pact for growth, and the implementation of the roadmap for reducing industrial and natural risks.


The ‘CONCERT-European Joint Programme for the Integration of Radiation Protection Research’ under Horizon 2020 is operating as an umbrella structure for the research initiatives jointly launched by the radiation protection research platforms MELODI, ALLIANCE, NERIS and EURADOS. Based on the platform SRAs and joint programming, CONCERT will develop research priorities, trying to seek further input from society and stakeholders. It will reach out to engage the wider scientific community in its projects, aiming to answer the needs in radiation protection for the public, occupationally exposed people, patients in medicine, and the environment.

Within CONCERT two major open RTD calls have been launched; the first one in 2016 and the other one in 2017.

Four projects of interest for NERIS have been selected under the 1st and 2nd CONCER Calls: CONFIDENCE, TERRITORIES, ENGAGE and SHAMISEN - SINGS.


The CONFIDENCE Project, funded under the H2020 CONCERT project, will perform research focussed on uncertainties in the area of emergency management and long-term rehabilitation. It concentrates on the early and transition phases of an emergency, but considers also longer-term decisions made during these phases. The project brings together expertise from four European Radiation Protection Research Platforms (NERIS, MELODI, ALLIANCE and EURADOS) and also from Social Sciences and Humanities, such that it can address the scientific challenges associated with model uncertainties and improve radioecological predictions and emergency management (NERIS and ALLIANCE), situation awareness and monitoring strategies (EURADOS), risk estimation in the early phase (MELODI), decision making and strategy development at local and national levels (NERIS) including social and ethical aspects (NERIS and Social Sciences and Humanities).

The work-programme of CONFIDENCE is designed to understand, reduce and cope with the uncertainty of meteorological and radiological data and their further propagation in decision support systems (including atmospheric dispersion, dose estimation, foodchain modelling and countermeasure simulations models). Consideration of social, ethical and communication aspects related to uncertainties is a key aspect of the project activities. Improvements in modelling and combining simulation with monitoring will help gaining a more comprehensive picture of the radiological situation and will clearly improve decision making under uncertainties. Decision making principles and methods will be investigated, ranging from formal decision aiding techniques to simulation based approaches. These will be demonstrated and tested in stakeholder workshops applying the simulation tools developed within CONFIDENCE. A comprehensive education and training programme is fully integrated with the research activities.

Scientists from the 31 partner organisations* from 17 European countries have met in Karlsruhe February 16 and 17, 2017, for the kick-off meeting of the project. Details of the work plan were refined and first steps defined. Links were identified with other ongoing projects (e.g. TERRITORRIES, also funded under the CONCERT project) and the project partners are very happy to share methods and results with their colleagues.

* KIT (Germany), BFS (Germany), NERC-CEH (United Kingdom), CEPN (France), CIEMAT (Spain), EPA (Ireland), EEAE (Greece), HMGU (Germany), IRSN (France), Mutadis (France), NMBU (Norway), NRPA (Norway), University of Zurich (Switzerland), DH PHE (United Kingdom), DTU (Denmark), RIVM (Netherlands), SCK-CEN (Belgium), STUK (Finland), UMIL (Italy), VUJE (Slovakia), KNMI (Netherlands), APA (Portugal), Dialogik (Germany), University of Warwick (United Kingdom), IST (Portugal), REC (Slovenia), DLO RIKILT (Netherlands), University of Extremadura (Spain), Met Office (United Kingdom), MTA EK (Hungary), NMI (Norway)

Further information can be found on the CONFIDENCE web page.


The TERRITORIES project has been selected for funding following 1st CONCERT Transational Call, topic 2 (Reducing uncertainties in human and ecosystem radiological risk assessment and management in nuclear emergencies and existing exposure situations, including NORM). Eleven partners* are involved in this 3-year-project (2017-2019). All of them were represented at the kick off meeting in Paris gare de l'Est on 27th of January.

TERRITORIES targets an integrated and graded management of contaminated territories characterised by long-lasting environmental radioactivity, filling in the needs emerged after the recent post-Fukushima experience and the publication of International and European Basic Safety Standards. A graded approach, for assessing doses to humans and wildlife and managing long-lasting situations (where radiation protection is mainly managed as existing situations), will be achieved through reducing uncertainties to a level that can be considered fit-for-purpose. The integration will be attained by:

  • Bridging dose and risk assessments and management of exposure situations involving artificial radionuclides (post-accident) and natural radionuclides (NORM),
  • Bridging between environmental, humans and wildlife populations monitoring and modelling,
  • Bridging between radiological protection for the members of the public and for wildlife,
  • Bridging between experts, decision makers, and the public, while fostering a decision-making process involving all stakeholders.

This project interlinks research in sciences supporting radiation protection (such as radioecology, human or ecological dose and risk assessments, social sciences and humanities, etc.), providing methodological guidance, supported by relevant case studies. The overall outcome is an umbrella framework, that will constitute the basis to produce novel guidance documents for dose assessment, risk management, and remediation of NORM and radioactively contaminated sites as the consequence of an accident, with due consideration of uncertainties and stakeholder involvement in the decision making process. The results will be widely disseminated to the different stakeholders and accompanied by an education and training programme.

Thus, the eleven partners of TERRITORIES will develop a common coherent guidance with a greater understanding of multiple sources of uncertainties along with variabilities in exposure scenarios, making the best use of scientific knowledge to characterize human and wildlife exposure, integrating this knowledge and know-how to reduce uncertainties and finally taking consideration of social, ethical and economic aspects to make decisions.

* IRSN, lead (France), BfS (Germany), CEPN (France), CIEMAT (Spain), NMBU (Norway), NRPA (Norway), Public Health England (United Kingdom), Belgium Nuclear Research Center (Belgium), STUK (Finland), University of Tartu (Estonia), Mutadis(France)

Further information can be found on the TERRITORIES web page and TERRITORIES blog.


The recently launched CONCERT project ENGAGE focuses on “ENhancinG stAkeholder participation in the GovernancE of radiological risks for improved radiation protection and informed decision-making”. The project will identify and address key challenges and opportunities for stakeholder engagement concerning three situations of exposure to ionising radiation: the medical use of ionising radiatoon, post-accident exposure, and indoor exposure to radon. ENGAGE will:

  1. Address the questions of why, when, and how stakeholders are engaged in radiation protection issues.

  2. Develop novel approaches to analyse stakeholder interactions and engagement and provide guidance to meet the challenges and opportunities identified in response to (a).

  3. Investigate the processes for enhancing the culture of radiation protection and their role in facilitating stakeholder engagement and develop guidelines for the further development and enhancement of the radiation protection culture.

  4. Provide recommendations and build a joint knowledge base for stakeholder engagement in radiation protection.

The ENGAGE consortium brings together social sciences and humanities researchers and radiation protection experts from nuclear safety and radiation protection authorities, leading research institutes in radiation
public health organisations, non- governmental organisations, and academia, representing 14 organisations from 10 European countries.

Together, ENGAGE partners will identify and refine relevant aspects for stakeholder engagement in each of the three exposure situations. They will analyse European commonalities and national idiosyncrasies, share experiences and approaches, and identify knowledge gaps.

Through its research and innovation activities, the project will provide information to facilitate the engagement of stakeholders in radiation protection in ways that relevant stakeholders find meaningful and legitimate. It will contribute to improving the governance of radiological risk and, as a result, radiation protection itself. Project beneficiaries include radiation protection platforms, policy makers, civil society stakeholders, and the public.


SHAMISEN-SINGS built upon the recommendations of the EC-OPERRA funded SHAMISEN project, aims to enhance Citizen Participation in preparedness for, and recovery from, a radiation accident through novel tools and APPs that support communication and data collection on radiation measurements, health and well-being indicators.

The specific objectives are to:

  1. Interact with stakeholders to assess their needs and their interest in contributing to dose and health assessment and evaluate how new technologies could best fulfill their needs. In particular, consider lessons from current issues in Fukushima related to lifting evacuation orders and medical care for vulnerable population;

  2. Review existing APPs for citizen-based dose measurements, and establish minimum standards of quality;

  3. Review existing APPs/systems to monitor health and wellbeing and provide feedback to users, and develop a core protocol for a citizen- based study on health, social and psychological consequences of a radiation accident;

  4. Build upon existing tools to develop the concept/guidelines for one or more APPs that could be used to:

    • monitor radiation: to allow citizens to measure dose, empowering them by providing information about their own doses in different settings, as well as contribute to radiation assessment after an accident, including visualisation of radiation conditions;
    • log behavioural and health information to be used, with appropriate ethics and informed consent, for citizen science studies.
    • provide a channel for practical information, professional support and dialogue about health, wellbeing and radiation protection.
  5. Assess the ethical challenges and implications of both the APPs and citizen science activities through a consensus workshop.

SHAMISEN-SINGS brings together an experienced multidisciplinary and multinational consortium to answer important objectives of the CONCERT call: to improve countermeasures for nuclear emergency preparedness and provide important knowledge on stakeholder engagement in radiation protection, including a critical assessment of benefits and challenges of citizen science. By taking a practical ethics approach, fostering co-reflection between natural and social scientists, it will strengthen integration of social science in radiation protection. It will also provide an independent channel for collection and management of data for use by authorities for decision making, assessment of doses, evaluation of health/social condition and health surveillance in general and support the implementation of BSS.


The OPERRA (Open Project for European Radiation Research Area) project, launched in June 2013 for four years with the financial support of the European Commission, aims to establish a legal coordination structure and logistics to manage European calls for research projects in radiation protection, in various topics: low-dose risk, radioecology, nuclear emergency and recovery management, and also research activities related to the medical uses of ionising radiation.

OPERRA have prepared the organisation of two competitive calls. The first call was launched at the end of 2013 for projects in low-dose risk research. The second competitive call was launched in 2014 for broader projects in radiation protection research.

3 projects of interest for NERIS have been selected under the OPERRA 2nd Call : CATHYMARA, HARMONE and SHAMISEN.


Child and Adult Thyroid Monitoring After Reactor Accident

Project overview and rationale

A nuclear power plant accident will cause uncontrolled release of a large amount and complex mixture of radionuclides; however 131I generally makes the largest dose contribution. After the Chernobyl accident, many citizens received thyroid doses exceeding 1 Gy due to radio-iodine intakes and more than 6 000 thyroid cancers (mostly in children) were attributed to radio-iodine intakes. After the Fukushima accident, about 98% of the effective dose received by emergency workers was attributable to radio-iodine intakes.
Following a large scale nuclear accident, or even a small accidental release, citizens will expect to be individually monitored rather than rely on calculated dose. This project focuses on post-accidental 131I measurement in the thyroid, particularly for children.
This project focuses on the monitoring strategies and assessment of thyroid doses resulting from intakes of radio-iodine. Monitoring strategies will address monitoring of children and adults, required capabilities and existing gaps. Strategies will also address harmonization of measurements and dose assessment to be done by national authorities, within the European Union and neighbouring countries.
This project relies on a review of existing European means, on two thyroid measurement inter-comparison circuits, focusing on children, on Monte-Carlo based device calibrations and on the development of emergency oriented dose assessment methods.
Identified gaps such as the children case will be solved and other potential gaps will be revealed.
The main outcome of the project will be guidelines based on practical experience and on the comparison of existing and required means. Guidelines will also benefit from the inputs of the civil society.

Work package organization

WP2: Review of existing plans and means

  • Survey on existing response capacities in Europe in case of emergency, focusing on internal exposure monitoring, thyroid monitoring and the children case
  • Review of international recommendations about internal exposure monitoring in case of emergency, focusing on thyroid monitoring and the case of children
  • Compare existing capacities and international recommendations
  • Review the Fukushima experience and the NTW survey on Emergency preparedness in Europe, focusing on internal exposure monitoring and the involvement of citizens
  • Study the advantages and drawbacks of citizenship measurements

WP3: Measurement inter-comparison for spectroscopic devices

  • Manufacture and distribute to volunteer teams thyroid sources corresponding to different ages (5 years-old, 10 years-old, adult) for measurement of the unknown thyroid activity
  • Evaluate the response and help teams to improve their measurement process

WP4: Measurement inter-comparison for non-spectroscopic devices

  • Same as WP3 but for devices such as dosimeters, count-rate meters, gamma-camera

WP5: Factors affecting measurements

  • Study the factors affecting thyroid measurements with spectroscopic devices such as thyroid volume, detector design, measurement distance, contribution of other radionuclides
  • Use Monte-Carlo calculations, realistic age-specific computational models, validated detector models

WP6: Thyroid dose assessment in case of emergency

  • Establish ready-to use tables to assess the thyroid dose or committed effective dose from measurement
  • Takes into account: the age of the measured subject, the short lived radio-iodine isotopes, the fetus case, the case of iodine prophylaxis

WP7: Guidelines

Based on the work of the other work packages, on literature review and on the experience of the participants the following guidelines will be made publically available:

  • Guidelines for development of monitoring strategies and derivation of reference levels
    These guidelines will focus on the purposes of monitoring; who should be monitored; the results needed; which measurements should be made; the radionuclides to be measured; at what locations, and over which time periods, should the measurements be performed. These guidelines are mostly intended for decision-makers and professional in charge of emergency preparedness.
  • Technical guidelines for radio-iodine in thyroid monitoring
    These guidelines will focus on equipment, measurements, calibrations and dose assessment. They are mostly intended for professionals performing measurements and dose assessment.


The guidelines and the report of work packages will be made publically available on June 2017.
Conclusions will be presented in conference and peer-reviewed articles


This work is funded by the European Commission for 18 months through the OPERRA (Open Project for the European Radiation Research Area, project #604984) project. OPERRA is part of the FP7-Fission-2013 program.


IRSN (France), CIEMAT (Spain), Czech Technical University in Prague (Czech Republic), Gothenburg University (Sweden), IFIN-HH (Romania), IST-ID (Portugal), MTA- CER (Hungary) , Mutadis (France), NCBJ (Poland), Public Health England (UK), RPI (Ukraine), SCK-CEN (Belgium, SÚRO (Czech Republic)

If you need further information, please contact the project coordinator: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Beginning of November 2015, HARMONE started as integral part of the European OPERRA project. It will last for 18 months and consist of six research partners (HMGU, IRSN, KIT, PHE, SCK•CEN, UCEWP) and three advisory organisations (BfS, IAEA, RIVM). HARMONE aims to reduce scientific, methodological and operational gaps identified in the strategic research agendas of the four European Platforms in the area of radiation protection and issued as TOPIC 2 of the OPERRA-2014 Call: “Spatial and temporal environmental modelling and human dose assessment after a nuclear accident”.

HARMONE aims to harmonize and expand the modelling approach of the European decision support systems (DSS) RODOS and C3X/SYMBIOSE. To achieve this goal, the project will deal with many possible release scenarios, environmental characteristics and shortcomings on information in the early phase of an emergency. To adapt the models better to the environmental conditions all over Europe, geographical and climatic influences on regional fishing and farming practice will be assessed. It is then planned to divide Europe into regions with common radioecological characteristics, collect the relevant data and implement them as generic information in the DSS. Aquatic, groundwater, snow melt, forest and terrestrial models in these DSS will be updated with the new data sets and their implementation improved.

Uncertainty analysis of the SYMBIOSE models can be done to identify relevant exposure pathways, parameters and FEP for the different scenarios and regions. Results from this process may suggest improvements in monitoring strategies which are also part of HARMONE. With this information, recommendations for the monitoring of radiological parameters necessary for the DSS after radiological incidents can be developed. Finally, the project will develop a knowledge data base and guidance that allows, according to the first event description, to propose a first management strategy to reduce doses and highlights potential issues for the dose assessment.


In the unlikely yet not impossible case of a future nuclear accident, what do we need to do (or not do) in order to improve the follow-up of affected populations and respond to their needs without creating unnecessary anxiety? This is what the European SHAMISEN project tries to answer. Indeed, as part of the OPERRA European Research project, the SHAMISEN project aims to draw lessons from the Chernobyl and Fukushima accidents and other major nuclear accidents in order to make recommendations for medical and health surveillance of affected populations. These recommendations should improve preparedness for responding to the needs of people affected by previous and possible future radiation accidents, while minimising unnecessary anxiety.

For further information, please visit the SHAMISEN website.

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9-13 October 2023 : European Radiation Protection Week, Dublin, Ireland

9th October 2023 : NERIS Workshop, Dublin, Ireland

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