Radioactivity and the Environment



RATE programme final science meeting, 15th – 17th January 2018, London

Central Hall Westminster, London

Further details and registration


Young Researchers Meeting 2017, 6 November 2017, School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds

The Radiochemistry Group is once again pleased to encourage young scientists in the field of radiochemistry, through the informal and friendly atmosphere of the 'Young Researchers Meeting'. It is designed as a forum for the exchange of ideas and experiences between researchers in industry, research institutes and university departments.

Researchers under 35 are encouraged to submit abstracts on topics in the field of chemistry of the radionuclides. The deadline for submission of abstracts is October 20th 2017.

A prize will be awarded for the best talk of the day. The winner will receive a cheque for £150 and the honour of having their name added to those of previous recipients on the coveted trophy, a bust of Marie Curie. The bust which will remain in their possession until the next meeting. A cheque for £75 will be awarded to the runner-up. The winner will also be funded to present their research at an appropriate scientific conference, up to the value of £500.

Supervisors are also welcome to attend in support of their students.

For further details, and registration and abstract form, please contact Ian Burke or Joanna Renshaw.

EPSRC: Collaborative research programme in decommissioning, immobilisation and management of nuclear waste workshop, 19 September 2017, Bristol

The EPSRC Energy team is holding a one-day workshop to scope the direction of a potential future collaborative research programme in the decommissioning, immobilisation and management of nuclear waste to follow the DISTINCTIVE investment, which is coming to an end in 2018. This workshop will be held in Bristol on Tuesday 19 September 2017.

Further information can be found at:

EPSRC: Collaborative research programme in the nuclear fuel cycle, 18 September 2017, Bristol

The EPSRC Energy team is holding a one-day workshop to scope the direction of a future collaborative research programme in the nuclear fuel cycle to follow the PACIFIC investment, which is coming to an end in 2018. This workshop will be held in Bristol on Monday 18 September 2017.

Further information can be found at:

ICRP-ERPW 2017, 10-12 October 2017, Paris, France

The 4th International Symposium on the System of radiological Protection of ICRP and for the 2nd European Radiation Protection Research Week of the European research platforms will be held in Paris, France between 10-12 October 2017.

Further information can be found at:

Beacon International Scientific Workshop on Mechanical Properties of Bentonite Barriers

19th & 20th June 2017 at the Lithuanian Energy Institute in Kaunas, Lithuania.

Further information can be found at:


11th & 16th June 2017 at the Victoria Warehouse, Manchester.

The European Nuclear Young Generation Forum (ENYGF) brings together students and young professionals from across the European nuclear industry. It was last held in Paris in 2015, with over 350 delegates attending from 27 different countries.

Further information can be found at:

RATE annual meeting, 12th April 2017, at the Royal Maritime Club, Portsmouth
COGER 2017, 10th-12th April 2017, at the Royal Maritime Club, Portsmouth

The 2017 Open Meeting of COGER will take place at the Royal Maritime Club, Portsmouth. The meeting will start at midday on Monday 10th April and finish at midday on Wednesday 12th April 2017. Professor Jim Smith from University of Portsmouth will be the local organiser.

The main purpose of the COGER Open Meeting is informal discussion of active and proposed research concerning all aspects of environmental radioactivity. Presentations or posters that might help the COGER community engage with the 'impact' agenda are particularly welcome, especially from non-academic stakeholders.

Past events


RATE Annual meeting, 7th April 2016, at the University of Glasgow
Brainstorming the future of RATE with Richard Shaw and Craig Anderson
Brainstorming the future of RATE with Richard Shaw and Craig Anderson

COGER 2016, 5th-7th April 2016, at the University of Glasgow

The 2016 Open Meeting of COGER will take place at the Wolfson Medical School, University of Glasgow. The meeting will start at midday on Tuesday 5th April and finish at 5pm on Thursday 7th April 2016. Dr Gillian MacKinnon and Dr Graham Muir from SUERC will be the local organisers.

The conference will take place in the Wolfson Medical School Building, University of Glasgow, University Avenue, Glasgow, G12 8QQ and accommodation has been arranged at the Z Hotel, 36 North Frederick Street Glasgow, G1 2BS. Local transport will be available between the two sites and further details on this will be provided.

The main purpose of the COGER Open Meeting is informal discussion of active and proposed research concerning all aspects of environmental radioactivity. Arrangements will be similar to those of previous meetings but we've increased the range of presentation types. As previously, research presentations are invited (15-20 minutes plus five minutes for discussion), as are short presentations from first year PhD students describing their planned research (up to 10 mins) but we'd also welcome any PechaKucha style presentations (20 slides, 20 secs each) and 3 Minute Thesis style presentations from PhD students (a chance to practice – many Unis are holding their rounds of the UK 3MT competition in May/June 2016!). Posters are also welcomed and there will be a formal poster session. Presentations or posters that might help the COGER community engage with the ‘impact’ agenda are welcome. In addition, there is a section for news items and brief announcements in the programme.

The COGER lecture will be presented on the evening of Wednesday 6th April by Dr Joe McHugh OBE, Technical Director of Hydrock NMCL and ex-Head of Radioactive Substances Regulation at the Environment Agency. The conference dinner will follow the COGER lecture.

Conference registrations should be submitted (i.e. are you coming, which dates, are you planning to present) by Friday Feb 29th 2016. We may not be able to provide accommodation at the hotel to those registering after this date. Please send your registration forms to

The deadline for abstract submission is Friday 4th March 2016. Please send your abstract forms to

Cheques should be made payable to COGER and a receipt will be available at the meeting. Please note that it is now possible to pay the registration fee by electronic bank transfer and we have a facility via Paypal to accept credit cards but please note this incurs a fee. Further details on payment options are available from David Copplestone (via Full-time students eligible for financial support do not need to send in a deposit (see below for further details). The conference fee payment should be made by Friday 4th March 2016. Cheques should be sent to: Dr David Copplestone, Biological and Environmental Sciences, School of Natural Sciences, University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA.

All participants who wish to make a formal presentation are required to produce an abstract (up to one page of A4), which should be submitted electronically to the by Friday 4th March 2016. The abstracts will be made available online on the COGER website in due course.

The financial arrangements are as follows:

Band Band description Details
A Students who present either a talk or a poster A deposit is not required as all accommodation and subsistence will be supported. Limited travel support may be available but needs to be arranged with David Copplestone IN ADVANCE of the meeting. Any costs reimbursed will be for travel by the cheapest means possible. Mileage will not be paid. Any queries relating to travel costs should be raised with David Copplestone before the meeting.
Please note that Band A is now only available if at least one academic from the same organisation as the student is in attendance otherwise Band B will apply
B Participants presenting a talk or a poster or students not presenting A registration fee of £175 is payable. No support for travel will be available. Please note that this band is only available for the lead author of a presentation or poster. Co-authors who are not presenting in their own right will be charged the Band C fee.
C Participants not presenting results A registration fee of £260 is payable. No support for travel will be available.

The remaining cost of meals and accommodation will be covered by COGER funds. COGER is able to offer financial support to all participants but we reserve the right to apply this to a limited number of participants should our budget be exceeded. Participants are therefore encouraged to apply early to ensure that support is available.

Please indicate which band you fall into on the registration form. The Committee ask those presenters who can support their participation at the meeting from other sources to select the Band C payment so that we can maximise the participation of students and researchers at an early stage of their career. Students who are members of the Royal Society of Chemistry are asked to identify themselves on the registration form as we have secured sponsorship from the RSC specifically to cover your costs.

Any news items that you would wish to have announced should be submitted to the account for inclusion on the website and presentation at the meeting.

Please bring this notice to the attention of your colleagues and encourage them to attend if they have a research interest in the field of environmental radioactivity.

On behalf of the COGER Steering Committee, I hope that you will be able to attend this year's meeting and we look forward to an interesting scientific programme and the opportunity of meeting you in Keyworth.

Yours sincerely
Dr Charles Gowing

Science Media Centre Opportunity: Introduction to the News Media for Nuclear Scientists, 22nd April 2016

The Science Media Centre are inviting nuclear experts with little or no media experience to a specialist Introduction to the News Media for Nuclear Scientists event on Friday 22nd April 2016, hosted by the Dalton Institute at the University of Manchester, from 12.30pm to 5pm with drinks afterwards.

This event is specifically geared towards nuclear scientists and engineers with little or no media experience. The SMC is especially keen for participation from experienced scientist or engineer who works on issues such as the health risks of radiation, nuclear new build, the state of old nuclear reactors, nuclear waste, consequences of nuclear accidents (e.g. Chernobyl and Fukushima), particularly as those subject areas are controversial, of interest to the media and tend to receive a lot of coverage.

The event programme and further information can be obtained by sending your full name, job title, institution, institutional e-mail address and phone number to

What is this event?

A beginner's guide to the media, giving an insight into the way the news media works. Participants will hear from media-experienced scientists, news journalists, science correspondents and press officers about the realities of the news media. Topics include:

  • how and why scientists and journalists should engage with each other
  • how journalists find stories
  • top tips for dealing with the media
  • the role of the press officer
  • the role of the news editor

It isn’t:

Skills-based media training. This session will not prepare you for a confrontation with John Humphrys but it will give a flavour of the media to help understand its demands and make it easier to work with journalists. It will also give good reasons to forge closer ties with your press office.

Is it for you?

This is only for scientists and clinicians who have not had much/any media experience before – we are very limited on space so please don't come along if you are already media trained or have lots of experience of dealing with journalists.

This event is specifically for experts in nuclear science and related disciplines. The sessions are especially relevant to scientists working in areas that are controversial and receive a lot of media coverage, as many aspects of nuclear science often do. It will be very similar to previous SMC Introduction to the Media days – so please don't register if you have been to the event before.

What scientists who have previously attended this event say:

"It gave me a good insight into why the media view is so different – and makes me listen to the views expressed now in a different light."

"Have already had some contacts with the media, but was very nice to hear things from their point of view. Must be said, have not appreciated fully the time pressures they work under."

"I found it one of the most rewarding uses of an afternoon that I can remember."

"I found the event very interesting and useful. I feel more comfortable with the idea of talking to journalists now."

"I thought it was great and gave me at least 5 major take home points which I will use in the future."

"Really enjoyed the meeting and found it very informative."

"We have needed an event like this for a long time."

The event is divided into two sessions with a tea break, and finishing off over a glass of wine and the opportunity to network informally with your peers.

Delegates will be expected to pay for their own travel to Manchester, but the event itself is completely free of charge. However, owing to the size of the venue, numbers will be limited.

Finally – please do not request a place unless you are absolutely sure you can attend this session and it is definitely in your diary. Places are limited and the demand for places is usually higher than we can accommodate.

If you would like to register for the event and are able to travel to Manchester on Friday 22nd April, please send your full name, job title, institution, e-mail address and phone number to The SMC will get back to you at a later date to confirm places and the full details of the event.

Museum of Science and Industry: Virtual reality experience to explore Chernobyl April 23rd and 24th

Step inside a virtual reality experience as Platform for Investigation marks the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Explore this no-go area using an Oculus Rift headset and find out how the animals living there have adapted to the remaining radioactive contamination. Then chat to scientists from the University of Salford to discover more about their research in Chernobyl and how they captured their amazing footage.

Event website

HydroFRAME Summer School
8th-12th August 2016

The school is planned to include opportunities to undertake computer based workshops, attend poster sessions and presentations from HydroFRAME researchers and International scientists, and participate in a field trip to the Grimsel underground laboratory in Switzerland.


Museum of Science and Industry
11th July 2015
13th International Conference on the Biogeochemistry of trace elements, Fukuoka International Congress Center, Fukushima, Japan
12th - 16th July 2015
  • Special Symposia - Understanding and mitigating the environmental behaviour of radiocaesium after the Fukushima accident.
TREE Chernobyl Summer School
2nd – 8th September 2015

Ukraine and the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, led by Profs. Jim Smith and Nick Beresford.

Geological Repositories, Subsurface Labs and Other Subsurface Environments: High Technology Transfer (GeoRepNet)
12th – 14th October 2015
  • The STFC Network, GeoRepNet, will hold its third conference in Edinburgh focusing on exploring all aspects of high technology transfer into geological repositories and other deep subsurface facilities and laboratories. Talks in all areas of high technology are welcome, particularly in STFC areas such as astronomy, particle physics and planetary sciences instrumentation. Of particular interest are examples of how technology can be transferred from these areas into the monitoring and characterisation of deep subsurface facilities and geological repositories or how high technology can be used in underground science facilities and other subsurface environments. This meeting also aims to create a legacy for GeoRepNet by generating an international community working on understanding processes in geological repositories and generate new groups working on proposals.
  • About GeoRepNet: The disposal of waste, including nuclear waste (from the nuclear power industry and other nuclear applications) and carbon dioxide (to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and associated greenhouse warming) constitutes one of the major environmental technical challenges of the 21st Century and has great importance on the national and international level. By funding and bringing together researchers involved in high technology transfer, GeoRepNet seeks to enhance the links between high technology and subsurface exploration.
  • There is no registration fee and registrants selected for talks will have travel and accommodation costs paid. Talks and posters are welcome.
  • Registration deadline is September 15, 2015.
  • Confirmed speakers: Katharine Hollinshead (STFC); Wouters Katinka (SCK CEN); Claire L Corkhill (University of Sheffield); Graeme Hansford (University of Leicester); Joanna Wragg (BGS); Lee Thompson (University of Sheffield); Nick Smith (NNL); Simon Harley (University of Edinburgh); Matt Gunn (University of Aberystwyth); Adrian Jones (DCO); Beverly DeJarnett (DCO).

For further information and to register visit

Manchester Science Festival
October 22nd – November 1st 2015
Geowaste, Burleigh Court, Loughborough
9th – 11th February 2015

The EPSRC Geowaste and NERC RATE programmes are holding a joint meeting at Loughborough University's Burleigh Court on February 9th–11th 2015. One of the aims of the meeting is to ensure that all of the PhD students and PDRAs working within both Geowaste and RATE present their results or ongoing research, to foster integration between the two programmes and ensure an opportunity to exchange information and learning. This will be achieved at the joint meeting through a combination of oral and poster presentations, with each PI additionally presenting an introductory overview of the work of their consortium.

Contact Joanna Wragg at for further information.

LO-RISE/TREE Summer School
19th – 23rd January 2015
  • The school is planned to include an introduction to radioactivity in the environment, panel discussions on energy resources and geological disposal, careers advice, and a role playing exercise. The event will be a residential course, held at the MacDonald Hotel, Manchester (close to Piccadilly Station) and will run from lunchtime to lunchtime, 19th–23rd January 2015. For joining instructions please contact Gareth Law at


GeoRepNet 2/RATE – Linking science and technology in Geological Repositories
23rd and 24th of October 2014
  • British Geological Survey, Environmental Science Centre Keyworth, Nottingham, UK, NG12 5GG
    Registration and joining details can be found via GeoRepNet