In order to assess the severity of the radiation situation and the health hazards, it is necessary to know how much and what kind of radioactive substances are present in the air. This requires laboratory analyses of the samples collected by special equipment. The measuring devices detect even the minor amounts of radioactive substances and changes in the radiation situation.
The concentration of airborne radioactive substances is constantly monitored at 20 localities. The Finnish Meteorological Institute has 12 samplers. STUK has eight samplers. One sampler belongs to the Defence Forces. There are four samplers also in the environs of both the Loviisa and Olkiluoto nuclear power plants.
In addition to the stationary particle samplers, STUK has transportable samplers for the monitoring of airborne radioactivity. These can be taken to any place. The sampler absorbs the air through a glassfibre filter. Particles present in the air remain in the filter. Filters are changed once or twice a week depending on the type of the sampler. The concentrations of airborne radioactive substances are analysed in the laboratory. The method reveals even the smallest amounts of radioactive substances.
STUK has also a van equipped with the measuring devices for external radiation, airborne radioactivity and fallout monitoring. The Defence Forces can take samples of the upper atmosphere with a sampler which is fitted to aircraft.
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