Radioecology training South Africa


The July course is now closed for sign-up. The next course will run in spring/summer 2020 subject to demand

Please register your interest so we can fix a future date (you will benefit from an Early Bird Discount).

In addition, we have also run a number of tailored courses. These have been run for the Environment Agency (England), the National Nuclear Regulator in South Africa and a consortium of industry, consultants and regulators in Australia. Contact Cath Barnett if you would like to discuss arranging a tailored course.


CEH Lancaster, Lancaster Environment Centre, Library Avenue, Bailrigg, Lancaster, LA1 4AP Location map & travel directions


professionals: £950

students: £900

The cost includes refreshments and lunch.

Short Course Description:

This two-day course covers a number of aspects of environmental (non-human biota) radiological assessment, including the ERICA tool, radionuclide transfer, dosimetry, effects, benchmarks, dispersion and how to model atmospheric noble gases.

Course Objectives:

Ensure participants:

  1. Are conversant with assessment objectives;
  2. Have a basic understanding of radionuclide transfer, dosimetry and radiation effects;
  3. Know how to use available tools;
  4. Can interpret the results;
  5. Understand the implications of how the tools are used;
  6. Are up to date with advances in the field.


Accommodation is not included in the cost. There is accommodation on site starting at approx. £40/ night. Please contact Cath Barnett for details. You may also find the guide to accommodation near CEH Lancaster helpful.


This course is limited to 25 places


Any member of the target audience

Course Leader:

Prof Nick Beresford, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Partner organisations and other trainers:

Prof. David Copplestone (University of Stirling), Prof. Mike Wood (University of Salford)

Target Audience:

Regulators, industry, consultants, researchers (attendance by PhD students will be considered)

More detail & background:

International recommendations now require explicit consideration of the effects of planned releases of radioactivity on the environment (i.e. wildlife). In the United Kingdom, the requirement to assess impacts affecting Natura 2000 sites under the Conservation (Natural Habitats) Regulations 1994 (the UK implementation of the EU Birds and Habitats Directives) has been interpreted to include ionizing radiation.

To address the need to conduct an assessment on wildlife various models or tools have been developed since circa 2000. Initially funded by the EC EURATOM programme, CEH was one of the organisations who developed the ERICA Integrated Approach and the ERICA Tool (which enable the implementation of the approach). With a few other organisations, CEH now maintains the ERICA Tool and an important accompanying database on the transfer of radionuclides to wildlife.

This area of radiation protection has evolved relatively rapidly since 2000. Worldwide, as regulators, industry and other users of radioactivity begin to need to conduct or review assessments they need training in the available approaches. Under funding from NERC, CEH led the development of a training course which has now been given to over 80 regulators, industry or SME representatives and researchers. The course covers all aspects of radiological environmental assessment mixing lectures with practical exercises. Whilst the course focusses on the ERICA Tool other models are also considered.

To help attendees we have prepared some background information to give a basic overview of each topic and also provide key references for further reading:

Course delivery

The lecturers are highly qualified to deliver the course having been key developers of national and international approaches to protect the environment from ionizing radiation. They are members of relevant ICRP working groups, lead IAEA activities in the field, and continue to develop new methodologies and conduct field/laboratory experimentation in the area. David Copplestone was previously employed by a UK regulator (the Environment Agency), and Mike Wood and Nick Beresford have won a Time Higher Education award for their work in the area.

Previous course participants said:

“An excellent interactive course with a good balance of lectures and practicals. Practicals reinforced the learning from lectures.”

“Really useful course to help clarify what you need to consider and more importantly why”

“Practical exercises really useful – feel I have enough knowledge to go away and useful/develop my understanding of ERICA. An excellent interactive course.”

“The course provided a comprehensive insight into the ERICA tool and its application.  As well as interactive use of the software, case-studies relevant to Australian users were presented and considered by the trainees.  The trainers had an in-depth knowledge of the software and the methodologies required to successfully interpret its outputs.  I would highly recommend this course to anyone with an interest in environmental radiation protection.”

“The National Nuclear Regulator in Pretoria, South Africa, expresses its gratitude to CEH, in particular Prof. Nick Beresford and Cath Barnett, for making the effort to present the course on RADIOLOGICAL PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT (BIOTA) in Pretoria. The course was very interesting and well presented. It was a privilege to attend a course of such an outstanding quality. We hope to have much more collaboration in the future.”

Relevant links and key publications

The ERICA Tool – software is free to download


Brown, J.E., Alfonso, B., Avila, R., Beresford, N.A., Copplestone, D., Hosseini, A. 2016. A new version of the ERICA Tool to facilitate impact assessments of radioactivity on wild plants and animals. J. Environ. Radioact. 153, 141-148.

Howard, B.J., Larsson, C-M. [Eds] 2008. The ERICA Project, Environmental risk from ionising contaminants: assessment and management.  J. Environ. Radioact., 99, 1361-1518.

Lancaster University