Radiation protection in the Arctic region

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Published 26.09.2011, updated 01.10.2014 14:17

Keywords: CEEPRA, Radioactivity in the environment

The NRPA is involved in an international project, which is strengthening cross-border cooperation between the key authorities, research organisations and stakeholders in the Arctic regions of Finland, Russia and Norway.
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The aim of the CEEPRA (Collaboration Network on EuroArctic Environmental Radiation Protection and Research) project is establishment of a cooperation network in the EuroArctic region, cross-border exchange of knowledge and skills, improvement of emergency preparedness capabilities and risk assessments in case of nuclear accidents in the region as well as raising awareness and knowledge in the general public and stakeholders with respect to the nature, common challenges and associated risks in the area of nuclear safety, emergency preparedness and radioactivity in the environment.

The project will study the current state of radioactive contamination in terrestrial and marine ecosystems in the EuroArctic region by examining environmental samples collected from the Finnish Lapland, Finnmark and Troms in Norway, the Kola Peninsula and the Barents Sea. The results will provide updated information on the present levels, occurrence and fate of radioactive substances in the Arctic environments and food chains. Special attention will be given to collection and analyses of natural products widely used by population in Finland, Russia and Norway, such as berries, mushrooms, fish and reindeer meat.

The region-specific risk assessments will be carried out through modelling and investigation of long-term effects of potential nuclear accidents in the EuroArctic region and possible impacts on the region’s indigenous population, terrestrial and marine environments, reindeer husbandry, the natural product sector, tourism and industries.

Open seminars for general public and target groups will be arranged in Finland, Russia and Norway during the project implementation period to provide relevant information on radioactivity-related issues and the status in the region.

The NRPA will lead joint investigations of terrestrial ecosystems in the EuroArctic region, verification of methodological approaches and assessment of quality and compatibility of measurements between the partner laboratories, and manage implementation of activities to enhance public knowledge and awareness in the partner countries. The NRPA will be involved in the assessments of marine ecosystems, too. The Norwegian Meteorological Institute will contribute to the air modelling part of the project.

The project partners are The Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority Finland (STUK), the Murmansk Marine Biological Institute (MMBI) from Russia, the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority (NRPA), the Finnish Meteorological Institute and Pöyry Finland Oy. The Norwegian Meteorological Institute will take part in the project as well. The project coordinator is STUK (Finland).

The project is being funded by the European Union Kolarctic ENPI CBC programme, administered by the Regional Council of Lapland, and the Norwegian Kolarctic programme.

The project was launched on 16 March 2011 and will span 3 years.

 
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