Title: Monitoring radioactivity in the environment under routine and emergency conditions
Authors: DE CORT Marc
Publisher: InTech - Open Access Publisher
Publication Year: 2011
JRC N°: JRC64911
ISBN: 978-953-307-599-0
URI: http://www.intechopen.com/articles/show/title/monitoring-radioactivity-in-the-environment-under-routine-and-emergency-conditions
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The main purpose of environmental monitoring is to quantify the levels of radioactivity in the various compartments of the environment disregarding its origin: natural or anthropo-genic, under routine or accidental conditions, in view of the health effects on man and his environment. However, because of their historical background, which is connected to the development of nuclear industry, the monitoring programmes established in the European countries focus on artificial radioactivity. Man-made radioactive matter can get into the biosphere by means of legally permitted dis-charges from nuclear installations or infrastructures where radioactive material is being used, e.g. hospitals and industry, or as the result of an accident. For each cause, specific sampling and monitoring programmes, as well as systems for internationally exchanging their results, have been implemented in the European Union and are still evolving. Routine monitoring is done on a continuous basis throughout the country by sampling the main environmental compartments which lead to man; typically these are airborne particu-lates, surface water, drinking water and food (typically milk and the main constituents of the national diet). The aim of routine monitoring is then also to confirm that levels are within the maximum permitted levels for the whole population (Basic Safety Standards, (EC, 1996)) and to detect eventual trends in concentrations over time. A comprehensive overview of the sampling strategies and principal measurement methods in the countries of the EU will be given, as well as how this information is communicated to the general public. In case of an accident, sampling and monitoring is tailored to the nature of the radioactive matter released and to the way in which it is dispersed. In particularly during the early phase of an accident with atmospheric release it is essential to be able to delineate the con-tamination as soon as possible to allow for immediate and appropriate countermeasures. Afterwards, once the radioactivity has deposited, it is important to have detailed informa-tion of the deposition pattern; a detailed deposition map at a fairly early stage will serve to steer medium and long term countermeasure strategies (e.g. agricultural, remediation). A summary of the most commonly used techniques, as well as a discussion of the various sampling network types (emergency preparedness, mobile) will be given. The Chernobyl NPP accident on 26 April 1986 also triggered the European Commission to develop together with its Member States systems for the rapid exchange of information in case of a nuclear/radiological accident (European Community Urgent Radiological Informa-tion Exchange (ECURIE), European Radiological Data Exchange Platform (EURDEP)). These systems will also be further described.
JRC Directorate:Nuclear Safety and Security

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