How to use ERICA

The ERICA Tool is a  software system that has a structure based upon the tiered ERICA Integrated Approach. It is used to assess radiological risk to terrestrial, freshwater and marine biota. The Tool guides the user through the assessment process, recording information and decisions and allowing the necessary calculations to be performed to estimate risks to animals and plants.

  • Tier 1 assessments are media concentration based and use pre-calculated environmental media concentration limits (EMCLs) to estimate risk quotients.
  • Tier 2 calculates dose rates but allows the user to examine and edit most of the parameters used in the calculation including concentration ratios, distribution coefficients, percentage dry weight soil or sediment, dose conversion coefficients, radiation weighting factors and occupancy factors. The user can also input organism activity concentrations in Tier 2 if they are available rather than relying upon concentration ratios. Results from the Tool can be put into context using incorporated data on dose effects relationships (using the FREDERICA database) and background dose rates.
  • Tier 3 offers the same flexibility as Tier 2 but allows the option to run the assessment probabilistically if the underling parameter probability distribution functions are available. There is also a link from the results to the FREDERICA effects database.

The Tool has simple transport models embedded to enable conservative estimates of media activity concentrations from discharge data if measurements are not available; the transport models are taken from IAEA 2011

The Tool is freely available from: an updated version of the Tool was released in February 2016.

The ERICA Tool is being maintained by a consortium comprising the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority,  Environment Agency (England and Wales), Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UK), IRSN (France) the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority and CIEMAT (Spain). It has been used in a number of IAEA modelling exercises (see poster from PDF icon ICRER Barcelona 2014.pdf and PDF icon IAEA biota modelling groups publications list.pdf).

See materials from STAR training course relevant to the ERICA Tool.