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Skipperud L.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Salbu B.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Priest N.,Middlesex University | Priest N.,Chalk River Laboratories | And 4 more authors.
Nuclear Engineering and Design | Year: 2011

A stakeholder needs assessment, carried out under the EU-EURAC and EU-ENEN-II projects, clearly showed that, at the European level, there are a significant and constant need for post-graduates with skills in radiochemistry, radioecology, radiation dosimetry and environmental modelling and a smaller, but still important, demand for radiobiologists and bio-modellers. Most of these needs are from government organizations. If only the nuclear industry is considered, then the largest demand is for radio chemists and radiation protection dosimetry experts. Given this spectrum of need and existing capacity in the areas of radiobiology it was concluded that the needs identified would be most efficiently met by three new degree programs:European MSc Radiation Protection,European MSc Analytical Radiochemistry,European MSc Radioecology. All three master programs would be developed using the framework provided by the Bologna Convention and the lecturing could be shared among specialist Scientists within a network of collaborating universities. Therefore, educational plans have been developed for the above MSc degrees. These plans envisage each degree comprising three modules that are common to all the degrees (3 × 10 ECTS credits), three specialist modules (3 × 10 ECTS credits) and a research project (1 × 60 ECTS credits). The courses should be aimed, not only to fill the identified European post-graduate education gap in radiological sciences, but also to provide a modular structure that is easily accessed by stakeholders for CPD training. It is anticipated that the European Masters will meet the academic training requirements of qualified experts", as defined by the European Commission and the IAEA. At the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB) a pilot MSc in Radioecology has successfully been initiated in collaboration with UK and France. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. Source

Curwen G.B.,Westlakes Research Institute | Murphy S.,University of Central Lancashire | Tawn E.J.,University of Central Lancashire | Winther J.F.,Danish Cancer Society | And 2 more authors.
Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis | Year: 2011

The previously reported association of the APEX Asp148Glu single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) with cancer, and the suggestion of associations of the XRCC3 Thr241Met and hOGG1 Ser326Cys SNP sites with G2 chromosomal radiosensitivity were investigated in a new study of 30 childhood and young adult cancer survivors, their 30 partners, and 55 offspring. An additional SNP, hOGG1 Arg46Gln was also analyzed. Data on G2 chromosomal radiosensitivity was available on 29 of the families including 53 offspring. No significant associations of genotype with cancer or G2 chromosomal radiosensitivity were observed. Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. Source

Curwen G.B.,Westlakes Research Institute | Cadwell K.K.,Westlakes Research Institute | Cadwell K.K.,Northumbria University | Tawn E.J.,University of Manchester | And 3 more authors.
Mutagenesis | Year: 2012

Intra-individual variation in G2 chromosomal radiosensitivity was examined by repeatedly taking blood samples from two individuals. Two healthy female volunteers provided a total of 44 blood samples, Donor 1 gave 28 samples in four time periods between 2001 and 2006 and Donor 2 gave 16 samples in two of the same time periods. Lymphocytes were cultured for 72 h prior to irradiation with 0.5 Gy, 300 kV X-rays. Colcemid was added 30 min post-irradiation. Cultures were harvested 90 min post-irradiation and analysed for chromatid gaps and breaks. Donor 1 exhibited significant intra-individual variation in G2 chromosomal radiosensitivity for two of the four time periods. Variation was not significant for Period 1 (13 samples, P = 0.111) and Period 2 (six samples, P = 0.311) but was significant for Period 3 (two samples, P = 0.030) and Period 4 (seven samples, P = 0.005). Significant intra-individual variation was observed for both time periods involving Donor 2, these being Period 2 (nine samples, P = 0.002) and Period 4 (seven samples, P < 0.001). The combined data from all time periods exhibited a significant intra-individual variation for Donor 1 (P < 0.001) and Donor 2 (P < 0.001). These findings led to the conclusion that too much reliance should not be placed on the result from a single sample when assessing individual radiosensitivity status. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the UK Environmental Mutagen Society. All rights reserved. Source

Cadwell K.K.,Westlakes Research Institute | Curwen G.B.,Westlakes Research Institute | Tawn E.J.,University of Central Lancashire | Winther J.F.,Danish Cancer Society | And 2 more authors.
Mutagenesis | Year: 2011

Significant inter-individual variation in G2 chromosomal radiosensitivity, measured as radiation-induced chromatid-type aberrations in the subsequent metaphase, has been reported in peripheral blood lymphocytes of both healthy individuals and a range of cancer patients. One possible explanation for this variation is that it is driven, at least in part, by the efficiency of G2-M checkpoint control. The hypothesis tested in the current analysis is that increased G2 chromosomal radiosensitivity is facilitated by a less efficient G2-M checkpoint. The study groups comprised 23 childhood and adolescent cancer survivors, their 23 partners and 38 of their offspring (Group 1) and 29 childhood and young adult cancer survivors (Group 2). Following exposure to 0.5 Gy of 300 kV X-rays, lymphocyte cultures were assessed for both G2 checkpoint delay and G2 chromosomal radiosensitivity. In Group 1, the extent of G2 checkpoint delay was measured by mitotic inhibition. No statistically significant differences in G2 checkpoint delay were observed between the cancer survivors (P = 0.660) or offspring (P = 0.171) and the partner control group nor was there any significant relationship between G2 checkpoint delay and G2 chromosomal radiosensitivity in the cancer survivors (P = 0.751), the partners (P = 0.634), the offspring (P = 0.824) or Group 1 taken as a whole (P = 0.379). For Group 2, G2 checkpoint delay was assessed with an assay utilising premature chromosome condensation to distinguish cell cycle stage. No significant relationship between G2 checkpoint delay and G2 chromosomal radiosensitivity was found (P = 0.284). Thus, this study does not support a relationship between G2-M checkpoint efficiency and variation in G2 chromosomal radiosensitivity. © The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the UK Environmental Mutagen Society. All rights reserved. Source

McGeoghegan D.,Westlakes Research Institute | Whaley S.,Westlakes Research Institute | Binks K.,Westlakes Research Institute | Gillies M.,Westlakes Research Institute | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Radiological Protection | Year: 2010

This paper studies the mortality and cancer morbidity of the 470 male workers involved in tackling the 1957 Sellafield Windscale fire or its subsequent cleanup. Workers were followed up for 50 years to 2007, extending the followup of a previously published cohort study on the Windscale fire by 10 years. The size of the study population is small, but the cohort is of interest because of the involvement of the workers in the accident. Significant excesses of deaths from diseases of the circulatory system (standardised mortality ratio (SMR) = 120, 95% CI = 103-138; 194 deaths) driven by ischaemic heart disease (IHD) (SMR = 133, 95% CI = 112-157, 141 deaths) were found when compared with the population of England and Wales but not when compared with the population of Northwest England (SMR = 105, 95% CI = 90-120 and SMR = 115, 95% CI = 97-136 respectively). When compared with those workers in post at the time of the fire but not directly involved in the fire the mortality rate from IHD among those involved in tackling the fire was raised but not statistically significantly (rate ratio (RR) = 1.11, 95% CI = 0.92-1.33). A RR of 1.11 is consistent with an excess relative risk of 0.65 Sv-1 as reported in an earlier study of non-cancer mortality in the British Nuclear Fuels plc cohort of which these workers are a small but significant part. There was a statistically significant difference in lung cancer mortality (RR = 2.18, 95% CI = 1.05- 4.52) rates between workers who had received higher recorded external doses during the fire and those who had received lower external doses. Comparison of the mortality rates of workers directly involved in the accident with workers in post, but not so involved, showed no significant differences overall. On the basis of the use of a propensity score the average effect of involvement in the Windscale fire on all causes of death was -2.13% (se = 3.64%, p = 0.56) though this difference is not statistically significant. The average effect of involvement in the Windscale fire was -5.53% (se = 3.81, p = 0.15) for all cancers mortality and 6.60% (se = 4.03%, p = 0.10) for IHD mortality though neither figure was statistically significant. This analysis of the mortality and cancer morbidity experience of those Sellafield workers involved in the 1957 Windscale fire does not reveal any measurable effect of the fire upon their health. Although this study has low statistical power for detecting small adverse effects, due to the relatively small number of workers, it does provide reassurance that no significant health effects are associated with the 1957 Windscale fire even after 50 years of follow-up. © 2010 IOP Publishing Ltd. Source

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