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SRNL, Chernobyl Laboratory collaborate on research initiatives
Date:9/2/2010

Under a recently signed agreement, the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) and the Ukraine's International Radioecology Laboratory (IRL) will collaborate on radiation ecology research, including projects in the region impacted by the catastrophic accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant 24 years ago. Researchers at IRL use the area around Chernobyl as an extensive laboratory for studying the effects of radioactive contamination and methods of decontamination. The agreement is intended both to assist in the Ukrainians' research efforts and to gain valuable information on subjects of mutual interest.

Under the auspices of the DOE Office of Environmental Management's (EM) International Program, SRNL and IRL have recently collaborated on various research projects, such as a study of the environmental problems associated with decommissioning the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Cooling Pond, a study on how deeply certain contaminants penetrate concrete building materials, and a study of how contaminants are distributed along the height of multi-story buildings. The last two studies were designed to provide insight into approaches for decontaminating buildings, a topic of great interest to EM. Papers resulting from these studies are scheduled for publication in Health Physics Journal.

These projects convinced DOE and SRNL that there is still a wealth of knowledge to be gained from research in the region impacted by the 1986 accident at Chernobyl. To help facilitate research, SRNL has entered into a collaborative agreement with IRL to look for mutually beneficial projects in a variety of subjects related to radiation ecology. "Even though Chernobyl is fundamentally different from any U.S. nuclear site, there is much we can learn in the surrounding area," said Eduardo Farfan, co-principal SRNL investigator for interactions with IRL. "As a result of the accident, the nearby area has become a uni
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Contact: Angeline French
angeline.french@srnl.doe.gov
803-725-2854
DOE/Savannah River National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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