Project titel: CONFIDENCE - COping with uNcertainties For Improved modelling and DEcision making in Nuclear emergenCiEs
Duration: 01.01.2017 - 31.12.2019
Funding: : European Joint Programme – Concert, 1st call
Total eligible costs: 6.2MEUR, 32 partners HMGU-ISS 0.69 MEUR
Contact:&Dr. Clemens Woda (WG Integrative Modelling, WP leader),
Dr. Alexander Ulanowski (WG radiation risk: risk estimation)
Dr. Jochen Tschiersch (WG Preventive Radiation Protection: thyroid speciation)

In emergency management and long-term rehabilitation uncertainty of information on the current situation, or its predicted evolution, is an intrinsic problem of decision making. To protect the population, conservative assumptions are often taken which may result in more overall harm than good due to secondary causalities as observed following the Chernobyl and Fukushima accidents. Therefore, the reduction of uncertainty where practicable, and approaches to deal with uncertainty information, are crucial to improve decision making for the protection of the affected population and to minimize disruption of normal living conditions. Our working group is leading Work Package 2 of CONFIDENCE. The objective of this work package is to “Reduce uncertainty in dose assessment for improving situation awareness and risk estimation”

Population-based dose assessment
The development of approaches to utilize environmental monitoring data will provide the basis for improving results of decision support systems through data assimilation with the aim of identifying critically exposed population groups. For members of these groups long-term follow-up of their health status may advisable.

Individual dose assessment
For individuals assessment of thyroid doses will be improved, including uncertainty assessment, by developing an approach for using monitoring and modelling data, individual exposure parameters and ‘Dose Per Thyroid Content’ functions. A prototype smartphone-based processing unit will be developed for this purpose. Dose measurements in personal objects (mobile phones, chip & SIM cards) from external exposures will be optimized in the low dose range and a methodology will be derived to estimate organ doses, and associated uncertainties, from these measurements. Current concepts of biological dosimetry will be optimized and existing biodosimetry infrastructures (e.g. MULTIBIODOSE guidance, RENEB network) integrated into emergency response.

Risk estimation
In addition to state-of-art dose estimation the assessment of long-term health effects has found to be necessary even in the early phase of the accident. To gain credibility risk estimation must be based on established procedures which have been developed by expert scientists and approved by international bodies concerned with radiation protection. To this aim a software tool for quick and efficient assessment of exposure-attributed cancer risk will be developed, based on risk models for leukaemia, thyroid cancer, breast cancer and all solid cancers, being consistent to the methodology adopted in the WHO report on health risks following the Fukushima nuclear accident. Cancer incidence rates from country-specific registries for selected European countries will be integrated into the model database. The risk assessment tool will be interrelated to JRODOS to allow for optimization of health monitoring programs in the transition phase. Important sources of uncertainties and their impact on target population-specific risk estimates will be considered.