Helsinki, 20 March, 2006
In 2005 the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health called an international expert team to evaluate the research activities of STUK - Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority in Finland. The team’s evaluation report is out just now. According to the report, the research at STUK is of high level but more attention should be paid to priorisation of the projects.
The evaluation team notices that STUK has reinforced its status as a high level research institute. As far as the team sees, this is mostly due to STUK’s multidisciplinary expertise and participation in European and international research projects. The research made at STUK is of high level.
On international level, STUK’s research activities were previously evaluated in 2000. The expert team comments that STUK has carefully taken into account the recommendations given in the earlier evaluation. Several of these recommendations had been successfully solved and implemented. STUK has also been successful to transfer knowhow from the retiring personnel to the younger generation. This practice was recommended by the team to be continued also in the future. The visibility of the STUK expertise both in the Nordic countries and internationally has increased considerably, mostly because of the EU research programmes.
More attention to priorisation of projects
Considering STUK’s human resources, the number of projects is very large, the team evaluated. The evaluation team recommended that more attention should be paid to the priorisation of the projects.
”We were given the same remark already in the previous evaluation. We have tried to respond to the demands of various levels of the society for more knowledge but at the same time this undeniably leads to a large number of projects”, says Sisko Salomaa, the Research Director at STUK.
”In future, we aim to improve the situation by focusing on the strategic key areas in our research programme and by enhancing our competence in project management. Uranium will emerge as a multidisciplinary research programme considering both its occurrence and the health risks. The concentrations of uranium in Finnish ground water are high and people are exposed to uranium through the drinking water. Knowledge on uranium is also in social focus at the moment because of international mining plans”, Sisko Salomaa states.
The evaluation was based on an extensive written material delivered to the expert team in advance. In addition, the team also interviewed the experts and other personnel at STUK. The evaluators were Henri Métivier (former Research Director of IRSN, Institut de Radioprotction et de Sûreté de Nucléaire, the French Radiation Protection Institute), Sven Nielsen (Risø National Laboratory, Denmark), Jouko Tuomisto (Finnish National Public Health Institute) and Wolfgang Weiss (BfS, Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz, the German Radiation Protection Authority).
International evaluation of the research activities of the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority is a publication in the series of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.
International evaluation of the research activities of the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority available in pdf form.
Research Director, Sisko Salomaa
tel. +358 9 759 88 495
Information Officer, Riikka Laitinen-Sorvari
tel. +358 9 759 88 210