Topical Day | Mathematical models for environmental impact assessment

November 16, 2016   Mol (BELGIUM)

Assessing the environmental impact of ionising radiation in routine, planned and accidental situations requires the design and use of mathematical models. A multidisciplinary approach is necessary to describe the complex interactions between radionuclides and the environment in order to evaluate their impact on humans and non-human biota. As this comprises in many cases different spheres of the environment– atmosphere – biosphere/pedosphere –hydrosphere/geosphere, integration of different modelling frameworks and numerical models is frequently needed. Although such models are different in many aspects (conceptualization, mathematical implementation, etc.), some approaches and challenges in model development and application are common between these models.

This Topical Day therefore focuses on some specific aspects in environmental impact assessment models (EIA) which are relevant for the different types of models: (i) development of models at the level of model conceptualisation, model and parameter abstraction,  (ii) modelling interfaces within the geosphere-biosphere interaction zone, (iii) model transferability in time (long-time assessment scales) as well as in space (applicability to different systems) and (iv) building confidence in model results (dealing with uncertainty, model validation, societal aspects). Examples will cover groundwater, forest and atmospheric dispersion. It is the aim of this day to stimulate, through discussion, efforts and collaborations in the area of EIA models.

This Topical Day brings together the expertise in this matter of 3 expert groups from the Environmental Health and Safety institute of SCK•CEN (Biosphere Impact Studies, Crisis Management and Decision Support and Performance Assessments) and modelling groups from collaborating institutions.