Monitoring of environmental radioactivity

Radiation is part of our everyday lives, since we are surrounded by natural and artificial radiation sources. Natural radioisotopes exist on earth from the very first moment of its creation. The most important are: uranium (238U, 235U), thorium (232Th), potassium (40K) and their daughter radioisotopes. Except for soil and minerals, natural radioisotopes are found in water, air, living organizations, food and building materials.

Artificial radioisotopes are anthropogenic (man-made) and produced under the applications of nuclear technology and nuclear sciences in the fields of industry, energy, health, etc. Their release to the natural environment may impact both the population and the environment.

EEAE is the competent authority to monitor environmental radiation in Greece, to identify the natural and the range thereof on a regular basis or under extraordinary circumstances, to coordinate other authorized bodies and to maintain the respective national records.

Furthermore, EEAE is competent for the prompt notice of the Greek state and the competent European and international organizations in case high radioactivity levels are recorded.

More analytically, EEAE coordinates and implements (a) the environmental radiation monitoring program and b) the nuclear security program, especially for controlling and combating illicit trafficking of radioactive materials. In this context EEAE:
• specifies the radioactivity levels through laboratory measurements and the telemetric system,
• maintains the national records of environmental radiation measurements and forwards the results to the Hellenic Statistical Authority and to European and international organizations,
• prepares technical reports on safety and environmental radiological impact,
• participates in European and international networks for early warning,
• conducts in vivo (using biological samples) and in vitro measurements of internal dosimetry.

You may visit the map reflecting the environmental radioactivity levels.

 

EURATOM Treaty: articles 35 and 36

Article 35 of EURATOM Treaty provides that each Member State shall establish the installations necessary to carry out continuous monitoring of the level of radioactivity in the air, water and soil and to ensure compliance with the basic safety standards.

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Monitoring of drinking water

In order to monitor the levels of radioactivity in drinking water, the European Directive 2013/51/Euratom laying down requirements for the protection of the health of the general public with regard to radioactive substances in water intended for human consumption was transposed to the national legislation by the Decision no. P / 112 / 1057/2016 / 01.02.2016  (Government Gazette no. 241/B/09.02.2016).

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Building materials with natural radioactivity

The materials derived from the earth crust (rock, earth) contain the natural radionuclides uranium (U-238), thorium (Th-232), their daughter radioisotopes, such as radium (Ra-226, daughter of U- 238), and potassium (K-40). Consequently, all building materials (e.g., granite, marble, cement raw materials) contain natural radionuclides; their concentrations vary.

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