BIOPROTA was set up to address the key uncertainties in long term assessments of contaminant releases into the environment arising from radioactive waste disposal.
Participation is aimed at national authorities and agencies with responsibility for achieving safe and acceptable radioactive waste management, both regulators and operators. At the outset, it was recognised that there are radioecological and other data and information issues which are common to specific assessments required in many countries.
The project focuses on key radionuclides and the key biosphere migration and accumulation mechanisms relevant to those radionuclides. The mutual support within a commonly focused project is intended to make more efficient use of skills and resources, and provide a transparent and traceable basis for the choices of parameter values as well as for the wider interpretation of information used in assessments.
BIOPROTA is aimed at making available the best sources of information to justify modelling assumptions made within radiological assessments constructed to support radioactive waste management.
Particular emphasis is placed on key data required for the assessment of long-lived radionuclide and other contaminant migration and accumulation in the biosphere, and the associated radiological impact, following release to the environment from solid waste disposal facilities and legacy sites.
The project is driven by assessment needs identified from previous and on-going assessment projects. Where common needs are identified within different assessment projects in different countries, a common effort can be applied to finding solutions. Such solutions may readily take account of the BIOMASS Theme 1 Data Protocol, among other things [IAEA, 2003 “Reference Biospheres” for Solid Radioactive Waste Disposal: report of Theme 1 of the BIOsphere Modelling and ASSessment Programme (BIOMASS), IAEA-BIOMASS-6. International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna.] The modelling issues considered include:-
- the treatment of various features, events and processes (FEPs) of the systems under investigation;
- the development of conceptual models which correspond to an adequate approximation to those systems;
- mathematical representation of those conceptual models;
- the choice of parameter values to adopt within those mathematical representations, and;
- Elimination of unnecessary pessimism through rigorous scientific investigation.
BIOPROTA achieves these objectives by:-
- holding an annual information exchange meeting;
- holding workshops on special topics; and
- by providing a mechanism for setting up collaborative projects.