The EMRAS Programme continued some of the work of previous international programmes on radioecological assessment and modelling that were aimed at refining existing information and improving models to be applied for the purposes of radiation protection of the public and the environment. These include BIOMOVS (BIOspheric Model Validation Study) and BIOMOVS II, initiated by the Swedish Radiation Authority in 1985, and the programmes sponsored by the IAEA: VAMP (Validation of Model Predictions, 1988-1996) and BIOMASS (BIOsphere Modelling and ASSessment, 1996-2001.
The work of EMRAS focused on areas where uncertainties remain in the predictive capability of models, notably in relation to the consequences of releases of radionuclides to particular types of environment (e.g. urban and aquatic environments) restoration of sites with radioactive residues and impact of environmental radioactivity on non-human species.
The overall objective of the EMRAS Programme was to enhance the capabilities of Member States to model radionuclide transfer in the environment and, thereby, to assess exposure levels of the public and biota in order to ensure an appropriate level of protection from the effects of ionizing radiation, associated with radionuclide releases and from existing radionuclides in the environment. Specific objectives in the areas of radioactive release assessment, restoration of sites with radioactive residues, and environmental protection are:
- to test the accuracy of the predictions of models for assessing the transfer of radionuclides in the environment
- to develop and improve models for particular environments and, where appropriate, to agree on generally applicable transfer parameter values
- to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, experience and research information
The EMRAS Programme ran from 2003 to 2007. The implementation of the EMRAS Programme was led by a Steering Committee (SC), that generally met during the Combined Meetings at the IAEA’s headquarters in Vienna.
Two types of meetings were organized annually as part of the EMRAS Programme:
- The Combined Meeting, held at the IAEA’s headquarters in Vienna in the 4th quarter of each year
- The Working Group Meetings generally took place in the 2nd quarter of each year.
During the week long Combined Meetings, Plenary Sessions were held on the first and last days and, the remaining three days were used for the Working Group Meetings.