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Monitoring radioactivity in the Finnish environment meets EU requirements

Monitoring radioactivity in the Finnish environment meets EU requirements

2 Oct 2015 18:37
Press release

A review team of the European Commission inspected the national programme of the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) for monitoring radioactivity in the environment. The team also inspected environmental and emissions surveillance at the Loviisa nuclear power plant. The inspections were carried out between 29 September and 2 October 2015. The inspections are based on the Euratom Treaty and carried out every seven years.

At STUK, the team familiarized themselves with laboratory operations at the Environmental Radiation Surveillance and Emergency Preparedness department, as well as the methods used to determine radioactivity, the equipment used to monitor radioactivity and the reporting of the results. The review team also visited the Loviisa nuclear power plant, where they familiarized themselves with monitoring and analyzing radioactive emissions from the plant and with radiation monitoring stations. In addition, they participated in environmental sampling.

The team consisted of four experts of the European Commission. The inspections were based on the monitoring programme determined in Article 35 of the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community. Their purpose is to provide an independent assessment of the sufficiency of radioactivity monitoring arrangements in the member states.

Monitoring the levels of radioactivity in waterways, the air and the ground in Finland also includes monitoring precipitation, vegetation and foodstuffs, as well as air-carried and liquid environmental emissions. According to the results of the inspection carried out by the European Commission, monitoring in Finland meets the related requirements and the provisions of Article 35 of the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community.

“Independent third-party assessments are important for us. The observations made during the assessments enable us to improve our operations. We are, of course, pleased with the finding that the Commission considers the quality and level of our operations to be good,” says Tarja K. Ikäheimonen, Director of the Environmental Radiation Surveillance and Emergency Preparedness department at STUK.

The final report about the assessment visit will be completed in early 2016.

The position of STUK as an independent environmental monitoring authority was further clarified

During the previous inspection in 2007, the review team paid attention to the double role of STUK as a provider of analysis services and a monitoring authority, in addition to recommendations concerning laboratory practices and general quality assurance. The amendments to the Nuclear Energy Act that came into effect in July 2015 further clarified the role of STUK as an independent safety authority. STUK is now involved in environmental surveillance at nuclear power plants only in the capacity of a supervising authority.


More information

Director Tarja K. Ikäheimonen, tel. +358 9 759 88 596

The European Commission:

Monitoring radioactivity in the environment

Main Findings of the Commission’s Article 35 verification in Finland 19 to 23 March 2007: Finnish National Monitoring Network for Environmental Radioactivity (pdf)

Environmental radiation
Updated
12 Oct 2015 18:44
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