Radioactivity and the Environment

Radioactivity And The Environment (RATE) programme science meeting

Radioactivity And The Environment (RATE) logo

15th – 17th January 2018
Central Hall Westminster, London

Places at the meeting are limited.

If you would like to attend this free event please register here by December 17th 2017.

Download the programme

The meeting will:

  • Highlight the drivers behind the programme and the importance of environmental radioactivity for UK and International stakeholders.
  • Showcase the high quality research programme (16th January 2018) and impact of the RATE.
    • 2016 winner of the Times Higher Education (THE) 'Research Project of the Year Award' for the TREE project research and associated public engagement activities related to assessing the uncertainty of exposure of wildlife under field conditions in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.
    • New computational models to assess fracture development and radionuclide mobility of rock masses.
    • New observations into the effects of radiation on mammal abundance in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone and radionuclide transport through marine and terrestrial ecosystems and the food chain.
    • New mechanistic understanding of radionuclide transport from soil to plants.
  • Disseminate the key science findings of the HydroFrame, LO-RISE and TREE projects under three umbrella challenges:
    • Environmental radioactivity in plants and animals: uptake and effects;
    • BioGeoChemical impacts on transport processes and repository development; and,
    • Monitoring and model improvement for reduction of uncertainty.
  • Introduce the UK’s new cohort of environmental radioactivity researchers
  • The RATE meeting has been organised to showcase the work under three challenges:

Challenge session1: Environmental radioactivity in plants and animals: uptake and effects

  • Oral presentations:

Multiple environmental factors influence 238U, 232Th and 226Ra bioaccumulation in arbuscular mycorrhizal-associated plants. Jon Pittman, Davies, H, Rosas Moreno, J, Cox, F, Livens, F and Robinson, C.

Ecosystem uptake and transfer of Sellafield-derived radiocarbon (14C) in the UK marine environment. Graham, Muir, Tierney, K, Cook, G, MacKinnon, G, Howe, J, Heymans, J and Xu, S.

Modelling marine ecosystem uptake of Sellafield-derived radiocarbon (14C). Kieran Tierney, Muir, G, Heymans, J, Cook, G, MacKinnon, G, Howe, J and Xu, S.

Effects of environmental radioactivity on plants and animals. David Copplestone, N Fuller, N, Goodman, J, Raines K, Smith, J.T, Anderson, C, Auld, S, Caplin, N, Ford, A, Jha, A, Lerebours, A, Scullion, T, Tinsley, M, Vernon, E and Willey, N.

  • Poster presentations:

Investigating chronic ionising radiation (cIR) in higher plants: transgenerational effects on morphology and physiology. Nicol. Caplin and Willey, N.

Effects of ionising radiation on aquatic invertebrates. Neil Fuller, Vernon, E, Ford, A, Jha, A and Smith, J.

Investigating feather corticosterone as a biomarker of radiation exposure in birds. Thomas Scullion, Beresford, N, Copplestone, D, Gaschak, S, Pottinger, T, Guillermin, C and Tyler, A.

Are the international benchmarks fit for purpose? David Copplestone, Smith, J, Anderson, C, Auld, S, Caplin, N, Ford, A, Fuller, N, Goodman, J, Jha, A, Lerebours, A, Raines, K, Scullion, T, Tinsley, M, Vernon, E and Willey, N.

14C in the UK marine environment – Irish Sea and West of Scotland sampling. John Howe.

14C in the UK marine environment – Results and Modelling. Kieran Tierney and Muir, G.

Challenge 2: Biogeochemical impacts on transport processes and repository development

  • Oral presentations:

Microbial controls on radionuclide geochemistry in soils and sediments. Leary, P, McCann C, Fuller, A, Mosselmans, F, Muir, M, Graham, M, Livens, F, Law, G and Neil Gray.

Uranium biogeochemistry in organic soil. Adam Fuller, Leary, P, McCann, C, Gray, N, Mosselmans, F, Muir, M, Graham, M, Livens, F, Shaw, S, Morris, K and Law, G.

Short-term experiments to predict long-term behaviour of 99Tc, 129I, 79Se and 238U in aerobic soils. Izquierdo, M, Bailey, E, Crout, N, Sanders, H, George Shaw and Young, S.

Modelling the colloid-facilitated radionuclide migration experiments at Grimsel. Ben Harvey, Kenney, J, McMillan, L and Herbert, A.

Transport processes of Uranium (VI) dependent on groundwater chemistry, organics, and bacteria. Janice Kenney, Kirby, M, Ellis, T, Nicol, F, Porter, A, Cuadros, J, Fendorf, S, Pacheco, J and Weiss, D.

  • Poster presentations:

Iodine, selenium and technetium dynamics with soil organic matter. Heather Sanders, Young, S, Crout, N and Bailey, E.

Controls on Anthropogenic Radionuclide Distribution in the Sellafield-Impacted Eastern Irish Sea. Daisy Ray, Livens F, Leary P, Gray, N, Abrahamsen, L, Muir G, Morris K, Law K, Fuller A, Bryan N, Cook G and Law G.

Assessing Tc availability using an in-situ dynamic technique. Chapman, A, Jackie Pates, Zhang, H, Willey, N, Young, S and Bailey, E.

Microbes at South Terras: Understanding the fungal and bacterial microbiome of radionuclide enriched soils. Jon K. Pittman, Davies, H, Cox, P, Leary, P, Rosas Moreno, J, Gray, N and Robinson, C.

Exploring the effects of natural organic molecules on aqueous Uranium VI chemistry using Density Functional Theory. Matthew Kirby, Simperler, A, Sonneberg, J, Kenney, J, Krevor, S and Weiss, D.

Challenge 3: Monitoring and modelling improvement for reduction of uncertainty

  • Oral presentations:

A model of uranium uptake by plant roots allowing for root-induced changes in the soil. Andrea Boghli, Roose, Tiina and Kirk, Guy J.D.

Long term biosphere predictions using short term observations. Crout, N, Bailey, E, George Shaw, Izquierdo, M and Young, S. Presentation given by Jim Smith.

Estimating radionuclide activity concentrations in wildlife and food crops – developing something better than the concentration ratio. Nick Beresford, Willey, N, Siasou, E, Barnett, C, Izquierdo, M, Gashchak, S, Guillén, S and Wood, M.

Numerical modelling of the permeability of fractured rock masses. Robin Thomas. Robin Thomas, Ebigbo, A Paluszny, A and Zimmerman, R.

Seismic methods for monitoring the host rock of a Geological Disposal Facility. Mark Hildyard, Bentham, H, Titarenko, S, Parastatidis, E, Stuart, G and Murphy, W.

  • Poster presentations:

Measuring Terrestrial wildlife external radiation exposure under field conditions. Aramrun Phakphum, Beresford, N, and Wood M.

Inclusion-based effective medium models for the field-scale permeability of a fractured rock masses. Anozie Ebigbo, Paluszny, A, Lang, P and Zimmerman, R.

Coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical modelling of processes around a Geological Disposal Facility. Clement Joulin, Xiang, J and Latham, J-P.

Characterising the hydrogeology of a deep underground research laboratory in fractured hard rocks. Lindsay McMillan, Harvey, B and Herbert, A.

Generation of geologically realistic fracture networks for hydro-mechanical studies of the rock mass in the vicinity of a Geological Disposal Facility. Adriana Paluszny, Thomas, R and Zimmerman, R.

Understanding fractures using seismic waves as diagnostics. Emmanouil Parastatidis, Emmanouil Parastatidis, Hildyard, M, Murphy, W and Stuart, G. Global sensitivity analysis of a thermo-hydro-mechanical model for understanding rock mass uncertainty. Sam Parsons, Stuart, G, Murphy, W, Hildyard, M and Angus, D.

Modelling radionuclide uptake by plants: measurement of soil diffusion coefficients. Jana Darmovzalova.


For further details please contact the science co-ordination team at