A Russian reactor southeast of Baghdad, one of 12 uranium enrichment plants the Center for Environmental Radiation Studies is helping to dismantle. Click to enlarge.
The mission of the Center for Environmental Radiation Studies (CERS) is to promote research on the dispersion and biological/ecological effects of ionizing radiation, to advise government agencies on means to reduce risks to human health and environmental contamination, and to assess and predict the dispersion of radionuclides released by natural and man-made events. CERS develops databases from its studies of radioactive contamination around the world and provides expertise important to strategic planning for the state of Texas, U.S. national homeland security and international nuclear safety.
Scientists associated with CERS have been leaders in research at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station in Ukraine since 1992. Recently, CERS scientists have begun programs evaluating the dispersion and human impact of radiation released from the Al Tuwaitha Nuclear Facility south of Baghdad, Iraq. CERS scientists currently serve as members of the United States Official Delegation to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Austria for advising the government of Iraq on characterizing and decommissioning former nuclear facilities in their country. The strength of the Center for Environmental Radiation Studies (CERS) is drawn from its excellent scientists/faculty from a diversity of research fields. CERS has assembled teams of skilled people whose collective and individual works synthesize and integrate radiological, genetic, biological, and dosimetry information relevant to urban and rural settings contaminated with radiation. Unique combinations of expertise and experiences in the Center ensure that the programs are relevant and timely to public, political and scientific communities. The center includes members from Ukraine and Iraq as well as other universities in the state of Texas. Collectively, these scientists have experiences involving many of the world’s worst radioactive accidents. Faculty have directed studies on the effects of radiation in humans and a variety of small mammals. Extensive research is directed towards reconstruction of plume releases and movements of fallout in urban and rural environments.