PRISM foodchain modelling presented at SRP symposium

The UK Society for Radiological Protection (SRP) recently held its Seventh International Symposium in Cardiff, focusing on 'Change and Continuity in Radiation Protection' (12th to 17th June, 2005).

The symposium attracted many participants from around the globe and included sessions devoted to a broad scientific content, covering topics from fundamental radioecology to instrumentation. Russell Walke attended the conference for Quintessa and presented an oral paper and two poster papers relating to the recent development of updated foodchain models for the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) and their implementation into the PRISM 2.0 software. Other members of the PRISM development team include Philip Maul (project management), Mike Thorne (model development), Peter Robinson and Claire Watson (both software implementation).

PRISM provides the FSA with the capability to model radioactive and non-radioactive contaminants in the foodchain for complex agricultural scenarios following short and long-term routine and accidental atmospheric releases. The revised soil, plant and animal models are backed up with a review of the latest radioecological research. The probabilistic models are implemented in a wrapped version of AMBER, with the parameters being specified in an Access database and the user interactions managed via a new graphical-user interface.