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Radio-ecological Database


Development of a Sophisticated Information System Including a Meta-Database and Regional Radioecological Cadastres for Assessment of the Radiation Impact on the Environment and Population. Evaluation Study of the North-West of Russia and Krasnoyarsk Regio

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-MRA/Modelling and Risk Assessment/Environment
  • ENV-EHS/Environmental Health and Safety/Environment
  • INF-COM/High Performance Computing and Networking/Information and Communications

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Kulikov G G

Leading Institute
VNIIKhT (Chemical Technology), Russia, Moscow


  • SCK-CEN, Belgium, Mol\nForschungszentrum für Umwelt und Gesundheit GmbH (GSF) / Institut für Strahlenschutz, Germany, Neuherberg\nInternational Atomic Energy Agency / Division of Radiation and Waste Safety, Austria, Vienna\nRadioactivity from Military Installation Sites and Effects on Population Health/SCOPE-RADSITE, Belgium, Oupeye\nPacific Northwest National Laboratory, USA, WA, Richland\nInternational Institute for Applied System Analysis (IIASA), Austria, Laxenburg\nBritish Nuclear Fuels Ltd (BNFL), UK, Chesire, Risley Warrington\nUniversity of California / Department of Radiological Sciences, USA, CA, Davis

Project summary

The goal of the “RadInfo” project is creation of a meta-database and radioecological cadastres, geo-referenced information systems being a basic component of those ones, and conducting (using those systems) evaluation study of possible pathways of radionuclides from the radiation-hazardous objects, radioactive waste, and contaminated areas, followed by the ranking of threats, for two priority regions of Russia selected on the basis of expert assessments: the North-West of Russia and Krasnoyarsk region.

The first system description of the FSU radiation legacy initiated in 1993 by the Russian Academy of Sciences, Minatom of Russia, Kurchatov Institute, and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), was carried out from 1995 to 2000 within the framework of ISTC project # 245 RADLEG.

The activity on the RADLEG project has resulted in the following:

– Analytical overview of the main military and civilian sectors of the FSU nuclear fuel cycle. It was published in February, 2000 as a book titled “The Radiation Legacy of the Soviet Nuclear Complex” (EARTHSCAN Publications Ltd., London).

– A public accessible database on the FSU radiation legacy with user’s interface in Russian and English.
– A pilot GIS-project describing the radionuclide contamination of the Yenisei River floodplain downstream the discharge point of the Mining & Chemical Combine of Minatom.

The “RadInfo” project efforts are to be based on use and substantial extension of accumulated data on the Soviet nuclear complex.

The activity necessary for preparation to the total radiation remediation at the FSU territory is illustrated by the matrix given below:

It is clear that remediation actions and prevention from further releases of radioactivity to the biosphere will be connected with very large expenditures which can be made only if most necessary. This means that very difficult and responsible choices must be made on setting priorities for remediation and prevention policy. The experts interrogation made within the RADLEG project framework showed that the North-West of Russia and Krasnoyarsk region are of the most priority.

In the North-West of Russia there are two big nuclear power plants (NPP) and several naval bases which serve for operations of civil and military nuclear-powered vessels, and, in particular, for decommissioning of nuclear submarines. These facilities have accumulated vast amounts of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and radioactive materials. On Kola peninsula it is planned to build a repository of radioactive waste to be located in geological formations. In the Republic of Karelia there is a uranium ore deposit.

Neighborhoods of Krasnoyarsk are characterized by presence of radionuclide contamination of the Yenisei floodplain resulting from many-year operations of the Mining & Chemical Combine (MCC). The Combine itself comprises three reactors (one of them is operating) built to produce weapon-grade plutonium, and a radiochemical plant for chemical separation of produced plutonium. There is an underground disposal site intended for deep-well injection of liquid radioactive waste. At present, operating storage facility of the RT-2 plant with design capacity of 6,000 tones is filled-up with 2,000 tones of SNF that comes from operating Russian and Ukrainian NPPs.

The created database will be permanently updated. New information obtained mainly by treatment of archive data enters not only from Russian organisations, but from Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and other CIS countries. Maintaining of the DB unified structure make it difficult the DB updating procedure, as well as the user’s work. It’s reasonable to develop a meta-database, in which only brief information would be contained from so-named local DBs with references allowing to turn to the local DBs for more detailed information, as well as recommendations for use of data containing in the local DBs. As far as it is possible, the meta-database should embrace all the FSU territory.

The following investigation tools will be created and/or applied for evaluation study on the two regions:

– information datafiles (local databases, publications etc.) on radiation sources, radioactive waste, and contaminated areas, as well as on the environment characteristics in the regions of interest;

– radionuclide migration pathways models;
– sets of local geo-information systems (GIS-cadastres), embracing (scanning) the areas of two regions of interest and allowing to assess the dynamics of the real and probable radionuclide migration.

Geo-referenced information systems comprise the necessary tool for the target analysis and assessment of the status of contaminated areas and radionuclide transfer pathways. The development of local GIS, which have to give a descriptive picture (not only static, but dynamic as well) of the status of contaminated areas and radiation sources and probable radionuclide migration pathways in the regions, will occupy in the “RadInfo” project more than a half of the total project efforts. It’s assumed that regional cadastre “Krasnoyarsk” will consist of 15 “plane-tables”(digital multi-layer maps) at a scale of 1:200 000. Regional cadastre “North-West” will consist of up to 20 “plane-tables” at a scale of 1:200 000. The GIS input information, according to activities and tasks of the investigation, will be taken from the project’s database, modeling results, reference literature, published materials. It may be linked to a map both in the form of graphic images and attribute tables. A series of applied computer codes, realizing “friendly” graphic interfaces, should be developed in order to provide optimal user interaction with the information system.

The RADLEG project’s experience shows, that digital mapping of contaminated lands and radionuclide migration pathways followed by visual demonstration, using GIS, is necessary for adequate evaluation of situation.

A meta-database and modeling of the radionuclide migration processes will permit to start an assessment of the impact on the environment and population and development of the recommendations on the countermeasures (this is virtually the ultimate goal of the radiation legacy study). However these works are connected with evolving of the resources at a scale which is difficult to be forecasted. In given proposal these works are foreseen in a form of a demonstration pilot subproject based on a local GIS.

There will be engaged more then 90 inpidual participants in the project. The organisations – project initiators attract the most experienced experts to integrate and assess the data. This ensures credibility of the data. The collaborator – International SCOPE-RADSITE project integrates the data on USA, European Union countries, FSU countries, and Asia region, and arranges an international verification if the results. The extension of contacts with Environment Institute in Ispra (European Commission Joint Research Center) is supposed.

In such a manner, the “RadInfo” project works will be conducted within the following activities:

1. Development of a meta-database of the radiation legacy of the Soviet nuclear complex (deliverable: meta-database in the RADLEG Geoinformation Centre of the Minatom of Russia + user’s manual).

2. Evaluation study of the North-West of Russia and Krasnoyarsk region:

– modeling of radionuclide migration from radiation sources to the environment (deliverable: report);
– development of regional radioecological cadastres to reflect characteristics of the radiation sources and results of modeling of probable radionuclide migration pathways (deliverable: cadastres with GIS-interfaces, including an Internet-version);
– development of a pilot subproject on the impact assessment and countermeasures.

3. Arrangement of international meetings to discuss and approve the results. Planned topics: environment problems of decommissioning of the nuclear- and radiation-hazard objects, radioactive waste and irradiated nuclear fuel management, reprocessing and utilization of weapon-grade and reactor-grade plutonium. Preparation and publishing of an analytical overview on the basis of data of radioactive materials (RM) and radioactive wastes (RW) inventorying (2000) within the state RM & RW accounting and control system (deliverable: analytical overview).


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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