Radioactivity of the deposition
Radioactivity of the deposition
Analysing deposition samples provides information on the quantities of radioactive materials in different parts of the country and forms the basis for reports and studies on the migration of radioactive materials in the soil and water environment.
Collection of samples
Deposition samples are taken on a continuous basis in eight localities. The collection period for deposition samples is typically one month. Deposition samples are collected with a stainless-steel instrument with a collection area of 0.07 m². The instrument is not able to differentiate between wet deposition caused by rainfall and dry deposition, and measures them as a total. To facilitate samples during winter months, the instruments are fitted with heat resistance to keep the samples unfrozen and to ensure that all snow collected in the collection container is included in the sample.
Analysis of samples
Usually, the volume of deposition samples is reduced by evaporation prior to analysis. This helps to detect even the lowest concentrations of radioactive materials. The evaporation residue is placed in a small container and analysed for gamma radiation-emitting radioactive substances, such as cesium-137, with a gamma spectrometer. In addition, samples can be analysed for beta or alpha emitters, such as strontium-90 and plutonium, that require radiochemical detection. Furthermore, rainwater samples taken from two localities are analysed for tritium concentrations.
STUK publishes the measurement data once the analysis has been completed.
Deposition of radioactive materials in eight localities in 2020
The tables shows quarterly totals of cesium-137 depositions in the different localities. For strontium-90, the samples are combined annually according to location.
|Jan–Mar 2020||Apr–Jun 2020||Jul–Sep 2020||Oct–Dec 2020||Jan–Dec 2020|
The data is presented in becquerels per square metre (Bq/m2).
Deposition of radioactive materials in eight localities in 2019
The table shows quarterly totals of cesium-137 depositions in the different localities. For strontium-90, the samples are combined annually according to location.
|Jan–Mar 2019||Apr–Jun 2019||Jul–Sep 2019||Oct–Dec 2019||Jan–Dec 2019|
|Kajaani||0,1||0,3||<0,1 *||0,1 **||0,34|
Tritium concentrations in rainwater samples in 2020
|21 January 2020||<1,0||1,2|
|17 February 2020||<1,0||<1,0|
|19 March 2020||<1,0||<1,0|
|20 April 2020||1,2||<1,0|
|18 May 2020||<1,0||<1,0|
|19 June 2020||1,6||1,7|
|21 July 2020||1,1||1,8|
|21 August 2020||<1,0||<1,0|
|21 September 2020||<1,0||<1,0|
Tritium concentrations in rainwater samples in 2019
Tritium concentrations of rainfall in 2019 were low. Tritium activity concentrations ranged between 1–2 Bq/l or below the detection limit.
|Reference date|| |
|21 January 2019||<1,0||<1,0|
|18 February 2019||<1,0||1,0|
|18 March 2019||<1,0||1,0|
|19 April 2019||2,0||2,0|
|20 May 2019||1,3||1,6|
|17 June 2019||1,6||1,3|
|19 July 2019||2,0||1,6|
|19 August 2019||1,6||1,2|
|20 September 2019||<1,0||1,0|
|21 October 2019||<1,0||<1,0|
|18 November 2019||<1,0||<1,0|
|20 December 2019||<1,0||<1,0|
Cesium-137 and strontium-90 depositions
Radioactive materials identified in depositions preceding 1986 originate from the fallout resulting from nuclear weapon testing performed in the atmosphere. Measurements from this type of fallout typically vary between the different seasons of the years. The Cs-137 and Sr-90 detected from post-1986 depositions mainly originate from the explosion at the Chernobyl power plant. The radioactive materials carried by fallout migrate locally, with a small portion of them re-entering the atmosphere.
What is a deposition?
Deposition refers to radioactive materials that have fallen to the ground or water from air. Deposition may come with rain (wet deposition) or as dry deposition. You can find more information on the “Radiation in the environment” webpages: