In November 2020, we are running our Radiological Environmental Protection course online for participants from Australia and other South Pacific nations. The course will include pre-recorded lectures, practical hands-on exercises, interactive Q&A sessions and demonstration sessions supported by on-line ‘chat’ with the course providers.
The next course will be in summer/ autumn 2021 ( with estimated total learning time of 25-30 hours.
We will make course materials available from 9 November for participants to view and complete in their own time over the following two weeks.
If you live and work outside the South Pacific, please also consider the same course for UK time zone from 1- 16 October 2020.
Course providers: Prof Nick Beresford (UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology), Prof. David Copplestone (University of Stirling) and Prof. Mike Wood (University of Salford).
Please express your interest in future courses here so we can fix a new date.
Online. A combination of accessing recorded learning content and live interactive sessions.
Professionals: £900 (Early Bird, then £950)
Students: £850 (Early Bird, then £900)
Sign up closes on 9 November 2020 (11:59 GMT).
Regulators, industry, consultants, researchers (PhD students are welcome)
Short Course Description
This online course covers aspects of environmental (non-human biota or wildlife) radiological assessment, including radionuclide transfer, dosimetry, effects, benchmarks, dispersion and how to model atmospheric noble gases. The course uses the ERICA Tool for most practical aspects. See below for more details.
We will deliver this course in a blended learning format. We will use Zoom and a Learning Management System (LMS) to deliver the content. You will be able to watch recorded presentations and conduct practical exercises in your own time from 6 to 27 November. There will be live interactive sessions for Q&A and discussion on 12, 16 and 20th November. The main interactive sessions, including exercises, will be on 24th, 25th, 26th and 27th November. Between the interactive sessions, you will be able to ‘chat’ on-line (using Teams) with the course lecturers to ask questions and discuss any issues.
From 9 November, we will make course materials and information on how to install and test the ERICA Tool available. You will then be able to access these in your own time.
Live sessions (Time for Australian time zone TBC)
- 6 November (16:30-17:15 AEDT / 13:30-14:15 AWST) - Zoom and UKCEH LearnWorlds familiarisation
- 12 November (16:30-18:00 AEDT / 13:30-15:00 AWST) - Introduction to the course and lecturers
- 16 November (16:30-18:00 AEDT / 13:30-15:00 AWST) - Q&A, discussion
- 20 November (16:30-18:00 AEDT / 13:30-15:00 AWST) - Q&A, discussion
- 24 November (16:00-18:00 AEDT / 13:00-15:00 AWST) - Recap, Q&A, discussion of exercises and demonstrations
- 25 November (16:00-18:00 AEDT / 13:00-15:00 AWST) - Recap, Q&A, discussion of exercises and demonstrations
- 26 November (16:00-18:00 AEDT / 13:00-15:00 AWST) Recap, Q&A, discussion of exercises and demonstrations
- 27 November (16:00-18:00 AEDT / 13:00-15:00 AWST) - Recap, Q&A, discussion of exercises, demonstrations and course close
If you are in a different time zone, then please use this online time zone calculator to work out your local time.
- Are conversant with assessment objectives;
- Have a basic understanding of radionuclide transfer, dosimetry and radiation effects;
- Know how to conduct an assessment using the ERICA Tool;
- Can interpret the results;
- Understand the implications of how the tools are used;
- Are up to date with advances in the field.
Example agenda here (from 2019 classroom-based course)
There are 30 places available.
Hardware and software requirements
You will need a laptop, desktop or tablet to view the lectures. A second (external) screen will be useful for the interactive sessions (but not essential). NOTE: You will not be able to use an Apple Mac or a tablet to run the ERICA Tool model. For the practical exercises included in the course, you will need a laptop/desktop running Windows. System requirements are 32/64 bit Windows 7/8.1/10 or later; 128 MB RAM (Recommended: 512 MB RAM or greater); At least 205 MB of free hard disk space. For the ERICA model to work well, a minimum screen resolution of 1024x768 is required.
We will use Zoom for interactive online learning. You do not need a Zoom account to join. Please check if your device is compatible with Zoom and that you can access Zoom through the internet connection that you will use during the course. We recommend that you install the Zoom program if you are able to do so: https://ukri.zoom.us/test
We list a number of guidance documents on how to use Zoom on our FAQ page. This includes information on how to use the web browser version if you are restricted from installing the Zoom App. We will explain the full Zoom functionality at the start of the course.
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 of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 (as amended) in England and Wales (which reflects the implementation of the EU Birds and Habitats Directives) has been interpreted to include ionising radiation. To address the need to conduct an assessment on wildlife, various models or tools have been developed since circa 2000.
The course trainers have been involved in the development of approaches for the protection at the national and international level since 2000. Initially funded by the EC EURATOM programme, UKCEH 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, UKCEH and the University of Stirling now maintain the ERICA Tool and important accompanying databases on the transfer of radionuclides to wildlife and the effects of radiation on wildlife.
This area of radiation protection has evolved relatively rapidly since 2000. We have been providing up to date training worldwide to regulators, industry and other users of radioactivity who need to conduct or review assessments since. Initially developed under funding from NERC, UKCEH continues to lead the development of this training course. Over 230 regulators, industry or SME representatives and researchers have already benefitted from this training. 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.
If you would like more details, please contact Nick Beresford.
To help attendees we have prepared some background information. This will give you a basic overview of each topic and also provide key references for further reading:
- Introduction to environmental radiation protection
- ERICA Integrated Approach (description of purpose, methodology and application)
- Transfer models within radiological environmental assessment tools
- Radiation Effects on plants and animals
- Setting and using benchmarks in radiological assessments of the environment
- Dispersion modelling: ERICA methodology and optional alternatives
- Radiation dosimetry for animals and plants
- Updates to the ERICA Tool - version released 2014
- Details of ERICA Tool version 1.2 (substantial updates) released November 2014
- See also - Reducing Uncertainty in Radiological Assessment (TREE flyer, Feb 2018)
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 committees and 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 won a Times Higher Education award for their work in the area.
Previous course participants said
"Having been on a lot of training over the last few years I am extremely impressed by the tutors knowledge, approachability, enthusiasm, and teaching ability. Often training is delivered by experts with no ability to engage with or adapt to their target audience. Overall I felt like I came away understanding some content I had previously struggled with. Thank you for the time and effort given to developing this course; it is appreciated." (learner from Magnox, 2019)
“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 UKCEH, 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. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvrad.2015.12.011
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. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0265-931X(08)00107-0