We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
Many of Europe's citizens are concerned about levels of radioactive contamination of the environment. Not just since Chernobyl, but since the signing of the Euratom treaty, the member states have been obliged monitor radiation levels and forward the data to the European Commission. To ensure comparability of these data, the JRC organises annual evaluation campaigns for the participating laboratories and runs the European information system which monitors radiation in the environment both under normal circumstances and in the event of a crisis, such as a nuclear accident.
The JRC provides assistance and technical support to European Commission's Directorate-General for Energy (DG Energy), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and national competent authorities ensuring that users from EU member states and other European countries have the necessary inter-communication tools and access to this information.
The JRC (together with DG Energy) has more than 20 years of expertise in networking the national nuclear emergency authorities by conceiving, developing, testing and operating EC information exchange systems (as a direct implementation of Council Decision 87/600).
The JRC collates, standardises, analyses, confirms and publishes all data recording radiation levels in the European environment - whether the radiation is found in soil, water or the atmosphere. The JRC develops the necessary information systems and helps both EU member states and candidates for accession to meet their obligations under the Euratom treaty and EU legislation. JRC researchers are also developing models with which it will be possible, using statistical methods, to predict the spread of radioactive clouds in the atmosphere. This will help civil defense agencies to make a rapid assessment of the potential danger and inform the population in the event of an emergency.
The JRC has developed JRC has developed the European Community Urgent Radiological Information Exchange (ECURIE) system and the automatic EUropean Radiological Data Exchange Platform (EURDEP) to support efforts in the area of nuclear emergency support.
The JRC are experts in emergency information exchange, including in the area of nuclear science which is important to rapidly and accurately interpret and evaluate the consequences of the results being measured.