School of Environmental Sciences


This course is part of the programme:
Master’s study programme Environment (2nd level)

Objectives and competences

The aim of this course is to give students basic knowledge on the sources of radioactivity in the environment, pathways of radionuclide transfers from air, soil, water into plants, animals and humans, and impact of radiation to organisms. Students will be skilled to assess risks from particular radiation source to the ecosystem and humans, and to foresee possible scenarios and consequences of nuclear accidents.


For better understanding of study material is basic knowledge of mathematics, physics and chemistry from previous courses is required.

The course is also supported by the knowledge gained in the Radioactivity and Radiation Protection course.

Content (Syllabus outline)

  • Basic principles in radioecology
  • Radioactive transformations and natural radioactive chains
  • Sources of radionuclides in the environment
  • Distribution and transfer of radionuclides in ecosystems
  • Impacts of ionizing radiation on ecosystems
  • Radionuclides in nuclear industry
  • Nuclear accidents

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:

Students will be skilled to recognise and foresee the risk of radioactive contamination in the environment (mining, nuclear industry, medicine, research, other technologies) and potential negative health effects for humans due to increased radiation, and will be capable to handle with radioactive materials.


  • V. Valković, 2000: Radioactivity in the Environment, Elsevier, Amsterdam.
  • E. Van der Stricht & R. Kirchmann (Editors), 2001: Radioecology – Radioactivity & Ecosystems, Fortemps, Liege.
  • M. Eisenbud & T. Gesell, 1997: Environmental Radioactivity, 3rd Edition, Academic Press, San Diego.
  • M. Pöschl & L. M. L. Nollet (Editors), 2007: Radionuclide Concentrations in Food and the Environment, Taylor & Francis, New York.
  • H. D. Livingston (Editor), 2004: Marine Radioactivity, Elsevier, Amsterdam.
  • J. Magill, J. Galy, 2005: Radioactivity – Radionuclides – Radiation, Springer Verlag and European Communities.


  • Seminar paper (50 %) • Oral examination (50 %)

Lecturer's references

Assoc. Professor of Radioactivity at the Jožef Stefan International Postgraduate School


1. VAUPOTIČ, Janja, ŽVAB ROŽIČ, Petra, BARIŠIĆ, Delko. Environmental aspect of radon potential in terra rossa and eutric cambisol in Slovenia. Environmental Earth Sciences, ISSN 1866-6280, 2012, vol. 66, no. 1, str. 223-229, doi: 10.1007/s12665-011-1228-0. [COBISS.SI-ID 25187623].

2. VAUPOTIČ, Janja, GREGORIČ, Asta, KOBAL, Ivan, ŽVAB ROŽIČ, Petra, KOZAK, Krzysztof, MAZUR, Jadwiga, KOCHOWSKA, Elzbieta, GRZĄDZIEL, Dominik. Radon concentration in soil gas and radon exhalation rate at the Ravne fault in NW Slovenia. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, ISSN 1561-8633, 2010, vol. 10, no. 4, str. 895-899. [COBISS.SI-ID 23572519].

3. VAUPOTIČ, Janja, KOBAL, Ivan, KRIŽMAN, Milko. Background outdoor radon levels in Slovenia. Nukleonika, ISSN 0029-5922, vol. 55, no. 4, 2010. Warszawa: Institute of Nuclear Chemistry and Technology, 2010, vol. 55, no. 4, str. 579-582. [COBISS.SI-ID 24097831].

4. VAUPOTIČ, Janja, GREGORIČ, Asta, KOTNIK, Jože, HORVAT, Milena, PIRRONE, Nicola. Dissolved radon and gaseous mercury in the Mediterranean seawater. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, ISSN 0265-931X. [Print ed.], 2008, issue 7, vol. 99, str. 1068-1074, [COBISS.SI-ID 21696551].

5. POPIT, Andreja, VAUPOTIČ, Janja, KUKAR, Nataša. Systematic radium survey in spring waters of Slovenia. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, ISSN 0265-931X. [Print ed.], 2004, vol. 76, str. 337-347. [COBISS.SI-ID 18343207].

University course code: 2OK022

Year of study: 1

Semester: 1

Course principal:




  • Lectures: 30 hours
  • Exercises: 15 hours
  • Individual work: 135 hours

Course type: elective

Languages: slovene and english

Learning and teaching methods:
• lectures • tutorial • individual work on a selected radioecological topic and presentation as a seminar work