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Working Plan

This Working Group is envisioned as a three-year activity that we hope will have a legacy beyond the funded study, to create a trusted resource for the ocean sciences and environmental community on matters related to radioactive substances, sources, and wastes in the oceans.  The time-line delineated below outlines the major steps and their order to reach the deliverables (see below) according to the defined terms of reference.  The timeline does not include much of the between-meeting activities and communications that are important to keep the WG going, which will be the responsibility of the two co-chairs to maintain.

Year 1

Launch SCOR WG web site (K. Buesseler lead)

Start regular teleconference discussion of WG activities and collect information on ongoing activities by WG members to add to Rio5 web site (M. Dai, K. Buesseler lead)

WG meeting #1- hosted by K. Buesseler (WHOI meeting- facilities support in place; partial financial support in place from WHOI Center for Marine and Environmental Radioactivity).

  • Charge to WG participants- gather information on existing and ongoing radionuclide data bases, such as Marine Information System (MARiS) (IAEA- Morris lead), HAM (Japan- Aoyama lead) and GEOTRACES (Schlitzer Associate Member lead).  Use Ocean Data View tools for visualization and use these data to develop global distribution maps (see Figure 2 as example)
  • Outline synthetic papers to present the current state of the global oceans for natural and artificial radionuclides, based on the combined datasets achieved above.  Spatial distributions and evolution as well as a global overview of potential risk will be the focus of the artificial radionuclide datasets, while objectives for naturally occurring radionuclides include their relevancy with regards to applications and newly available tools
  • Discuss challenges and frontiers in marine radiochemistry and radioecology
  • Discuss plans to increase WG web site content and how to  build and disseminate education materials for public and students. Use WHOI’s Center for Marine and Environmental Radioactivity site as host and model of similar activities ( ; web site costs supported by CMER)
  • Introduce plans for an international symposium on marine radioactivity.  Decades ago, similar efforts were hosted by UK (MAFF) and French (IRSN) ministries in Cherbourg in 1996 (Radionuclides: a tool in Oceanography 1987; Radionuclides in the Ocean- RADOC 96).  IAEA has been approached to help support and host the symposium and welcomes additional discussion upon SCOR funding of this WG

Year 2

WG meeting #2- hosted by M. Dai, Xiamen U. (partial financial support in place through Xiamen U.). In conjunction with WG meeting, a 2 or 3-day training workshop will be considered as part of the WG capacity building efforts (see Capacity Building below

  • Review progress done on the database efforts
  • Review synthesis papers and prepare for publication
  • Develop list of future challenge and areas of need
  • Planning for international symposium on Radionuclides in the Ocean, including promotion and organizing co-sponsorship
  • Review education and public outreach materials and discuss submission of e-lectures, fact brochures, hands on activities for primary and secondary education and coordinating ongoing hands-on training by various international groups of the next generation of radiochemists
  • Training workshop at Xiamen University potentially cosponsored by IAEA (to be explored).  Format of the workshop to include 2 days of lectures by WG members and 1 day hands-on and/or demo using facility and expertise in Xiamen. Trainees are expected to come from developing countries in Asia.  Recruitment of trainees could be through the existing IAEA’s network with developing countries for capacity building and/or through SCOR open calls. The workshop will be limited to 20-30 participants. (Dai & Benitez-Nelson lead)

Year 3

WG meeting #3- in conjunction with international symposium.

  • International Symposium- collect extended abstracts & manuscripts
  • Post conference publication/book and organize associated papers in open access format such as a Frontiers Research Topic (
  • Final preparation of wide release of educational materials- for both student and public audiences