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Activity name

NORCO: Nordic Cosm Pilot Study


NKS-B Research Area Radioecology and environmental assessments
Project summary

The aim of this project is to carry out pilot studies to create realistic microcosm ecological systems that can be used as a reference point for future cosm studies in the field of radioecology. We carry out pilot studies on external irradiation on Nordic freshwater ecosystems to evaluate the practical usefulness of microcosms in a radioecology context and to obtain data on ecosystem level. We plan to expose cosms to radiation at two different facilities (in FIGARO in Norway and Stockholm University in Sweden) in order to compare and calibrate the facilities, exchange knowledge and competences, and standardise procedures between the organisations involved. Pilot studies will use 1 L (Sweden) and 25 L (Norway) aquatic cosms containing a selection of aquatic plants, periphyton (biofilm), phytoplankton, zooplankton, aquatic snails and/or a gravel substrate. Cosms will be exposed to different distances to the source, providing a gradient of exposure from c. 400 μGy/hr - 1 Gy/h (CERAD) and 1 - 70 mGy/h (SU). Structural and functional effects will be measured, some at different time points throughout the experiment, others only at the end since destructive sampling will be required. The involvement of two radiation protection authorities (NRPA and STUK) in designing the experiment will also ensure that the approach and results are of use to regulators and assessors. In addition to scientific progress in microcosm research for radioecology, the evaluation and analyses of the radiosensitivity of Nordic freshwater ecosystems is important for management and assessments by the Nordic radiation authorities.


Lead Organization Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority (NRPA)
Contact Person Tanya H. Hevrøy
phone number: +47 67 16 25 05 


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