Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

Search results for: T. Tollefsen

3 Latitudinal Impact on Spatial and Temporal Variability of 7Be Activity Concentrations in Surface Air along Europe

Authors: M. A. Hernández-Ceballos, M. Marín-Ferrer, G. Cinelli, L. De Felice, T. Tollefsen, E. Nweke, P. V. Tognoli, S. Vanzo, M. De Cort


This study analyses the latitudinal impact of the spatial and temporal distribution on the cosmogenic isotope 7Be in surface air along Europe. The long-term database of the 6 sampling sites (Ivalo, Helsinki, Berlin, Freiburg, Sevilla and La Laguna), that regularly provide data to the Radioactivity Environmental Monitoring (REM) network managed by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Ispra, were used. The selection of the stations was performed attending to different factors, such as 1) heterogeneity in terms of latitude and altitude, and 2) long database coverage. The combination of these two parameters ensures a high degree of representativeness of the results. In the later, the temporal coverage varies between stations, being used in the present study sampling stations with a database more or less continuously from 1984 to 2011. The mean values of 7Be activity concentration presented a spatial distribution value ranging from 2.0 ± 0.9 mBq/m3 (Ivalo, north) to 4.8 ± 1.5 mBq/m3 (La Laguna, south). An increasing gradient with latitude was observed from the north to the south, 0.06 mBq/m3. However, there was no correlation with altitude, since all stations are sited within the atmospheric boundary layer. The analyses of the data indicated a dynamic range of 7Be activity for solar cycle and phase (maximum or minimum), having been observed different impact on stations according to their location. The results indicated a significant seasonal behavior, with the maximum concentrations occurring in the summer and minimum in the winter, although with differences in the values reached and in the month registered. Due to the large heterogeneity in the temporal pattern with which the individual radionuclide analyses were performed in each station, the 7Be monthly index was calculated to normalize the measurements and perform the direct comparison of monthly evolution among stations. Different intensity and evolution of the mean monthly index were observed. The knowledge of the spatial and temporal distribution of this natural radionuclide in the atmosphere is a key parameter for modeling studies of atmospheric processes, which are important phenomena to be taken into account in the case of a nuclear accident.

Keywords: solar cycle, Berilium-7, latitudinal impact in Europe, seasonal and monthly variability

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2 Status of the European Atlas of Natural Radiation

Authors: M. A. Hernández-Ceballos, G. Cinelli, T. Tollefsen, M. De Cort, P. Bossew, V. Gruber, R. Braga


In 2006, the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission started the project of the 'European Atlas of Natural Radiation'. The Atlas aims at preparing a collection of maps of Europe displaying the levels of natural radioactivity caused by different sources (indoor and outdoor radon, cosmic radiation, terrestrial radionuclides, terrestrial gamma radiation, etc). The overall goal of the project is to estimate, in geographical resolution, the annual dose that the public may receive from natural radioactivity, combining all the information from the different radiation components. The first map which has been developed is the European map of indoor radon (Rn) since in most cases Rn is the most important contribution to exposure. New versions of the map are realised when new countries join the project or when already participating countries send new data. We show the latest status of this map which currently includes 25 European countries. Second, the JRC has undertaken to map a variable which measures 'what earth delivers' in terms of Rn. The corresponding quantity is called geogenic radon potential (RP). Due to the heterogeneity of data sources across the Europe there is need to develop a harmonized quantity which at the one hand adequately measures or classifies the RP, and on the other hand is suited to accommodate the variety of input data used to estimate this target quantity. Candidates for input quantities which may serve as predictors of the RP, and for which data are available across Europe, to different extent, are Uranium (U) concentration in rocks and soils, soil gas radon and soil permeability, terrestrial gamma dose rate, geological information and indoor data from ground floor. The European Geogenic Radon Map gives the possibility to characterize areas, on European geographical scale, for radon hazard where indoor radon measurements are not available. Parallel to ongoing work on the European Indoor Radon, Geogenic Radon and Cosmic Radiation Maps, we made progress in the development of maps of terrestrial gamma radiation and U, Th and K concentrations in soil and bedrock. We show the first, preliminary map of the terrestrial gamma dose rate, estimated using the data of ambient dose equivalent rate available from the EURDEP system (about 5000 fixed monitoring stations across Europe). Also, the first maps of U, Th, and K concentrations in soil and bedrock are shown in the present work.

Keywords: Mapping, Europe, natural radiation, indoor radon

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1 European Commission Radioactivity Environmental Monitoring Database REMdb: A Law (Art. 36 Euratom Treaty) Transformed in Environmental Science Opportunities

Authors: M. A. Hernández, M. Marín-Ferrer, T. Tollefsen, E. Nweke, P. V. Tognoli, S. Vanzo, M. De Cort


Under the terms of Article 36 of the Euratom Treaty, European Union Member States (MSs) shall periodically communicate to the European Commission (EC) information on environmental radioactivity levels. Compilations of the information received have been published by the EC as a series of reports beginning in the early 1960s. The environmental radioactivity results received from the MSs have been introduced into the Radioactivity Environmental Monitoring database (REMdb) of the Institute for Transuranium Elements of the EC Joint Research Centre (JRC) sited in Ispra (Italy) as part of its Directorate General for Energy (DG ENER) support programme. The REMdb brings to the scientific community dealing with environmental radioactivity topics endless of research opportunities to exploit the near 200 millions of records received from MSs containing information of radioactivity levels in milk, water, air and mixed diet. The REM action was created shortly after Chernobyl crisis to support the EC in its responsibilities in providing qualified information to the European Parliament and the MSs on the levels of radioactive contamination of the various compartments of the environment (air, water, soil). Hence, the main line of REM’s activities concerns the improvement of procedures for the collection of environmental radioactivity concentrations for routine and emergency conditions, as well as making this information available to the general public. In this way, REM ensures the availability of tools for the inter-communication and access of users from the Member States and the other European countries to this information. Specific attention is given to further integrate the new MSs with the existing information exchange systems and to assist Candidate Countries in fulfilling these obligations in view of their membership of the EU. Article 36 of the EURATOM treaty requires the competent authorities of each MS to provide regularly the environmental radioactivity monitoring data resulting from their Article 35 obligations to the EC in order to keep EC informed on the levels of radioactivity in the environment (air, water, milk and mixed diet) which could affect population. The REMdb has mainly two objectives: to keep a historical record of the radiological accidents for further scientific study, and to collect the environmental radioactivity data gathered through the national environmental monitoring programs of the MSs to prepare the comprehensive annual monitoring reports (MR). The JRC continues his activity of collecting, assembling, analyzing and providing this information to public and MSs even during emergency situations. In addition, there is a growing concern with the general public about the radioactivity levels in the terrestrial and marine environment, as well about the potential risk of future nuclear accidents. To this context, a clear and transparent communication with the public is needed. EURDEP (European Radiological Data Exchange Platform) is both a standard format for radiological data and a network for the exchange of automatic monitoring data. The latest release of the format is version 2.0, which is in use since the beginning of 2002.

Keywords: Environmental Radioactivity, Euratom, monitoring report, REMdb

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