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), as amended by the Decision no. 134069/23/12/2019 (Government Gazette no. 5000/B/31.12.2009).
According to the provisions of the current legislation, EEAE:
- determines the program and frequency of sampling in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and issues the respective protocol;
- performs measurements of radioactivity in drinking water;
- approves other laboratories, accredited by a competent government agency, to perform measurements of radioactivity in drinking water;
- issues certificates of compliance with regard to radioactivity in water and informs the Ministry of Health;
- proposes to the Ministry of Health corrective and preventive measures to protect human health from radioactive substances;
- keeps the national database regarding radionuclide concentrations in drinking water;
- informs the Ministry of Health and the European Commission about the results of measurements in drinking water.
The details about the frequency and methodology of sampling and analysis for the monitoring of radioactive substances in water for human consumption are described in the decisions mentioned above and in a relevant circular of the Ministry of Health (ΑΔΑ: ΩΚΖΝ465ΦΥΟ-ΙΩΤ).
The monitoring of radioactivity levels in water intended for human consumption includes the following parameters:
a. Radon. The measurement of radon (on-site inspection, sampling, laboratory measurement) is planned by EEAE and carried out either by EEAE or by a laboratory which is member of the Network of Collaborating Laboratories. Radon monitoring is not obligatory, unless indicated differently by EEAE. This exemption is valid until December 2021, in line with a relevant EEAE Board decision (266th meeting).
b. Tritium. EEAE conducts periodic sampling for tritium monitoring. Based on the results of representative measurements of tritium carried out in various areas of the country and given the absence of anthropogenic tritium sources in Greece, systematic tritium analyzes are not required until October 2025, in line with a relevant EEAE Board decision (270th meeting).
c. Indicative Dose. The indicative dose is calculated based on the results of the following measurements:
- Measurement of gross α-activity and gross β-activity: The determination of gross α-activity and gross β-activity is carried out every year in all samples of water intended for human consumption.
- Determination of uranium isotopes (U-238 & U-234). It is noted that:
- The determination of uranium isotopes is carried out on all samples of water intended for human consumption which are tested for the first time for radioactivity.
- In the remaining cases of water samples, the determination of uranium isotopes is carried out annually, only in samples whose gross α-activity exceeds the limit of 0.1 Bq / L.
Certificates of compliance
A certificate of compliance with regard to radioactivity in water is issued by EEAE for each water sample, following an application by an approved laboratory on behalf of the relevant Municipality. Along with the application, the results of the total measurements of gross α-activity and gross β-activity and uranium isotopes (U-238, U-234) performed by an approved laboratory are also submitted, in line with the abovementioned provisions.
At national level, the Ministry of Health and the Environmental Hygiene and Sanitary Services also cooperate for the implementation of the legislation.