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Ecological Assessment of the Region, Where Radioactivity Dangerous Enterprises are Located. North-West Region of Russia. Methodological Approaches to the Organizing of Ecological Monitoring System in the Vicinity of Nuclear Facilities. Part 2

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-MIN/Monitoring and Instrumentation/Environment

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Khlopin Radium Institute, Russia, St Petersburg


  • Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway, Oslo

Project summary

The Project #535 "Ecological assessment of the region where radioactivity dangerous enterprises are located. North-west Region of Russia. Methodological approaches to the organization of ecological monitoring system in the vicinity of nuclear facilities.", financed by ISTC from 01.06.97 to 31.05.99 is implemented in the vicinity of Leningrad NPP and other nuclear facilities.

According the Project Work Plan a methodology of organization of ecological monitoring in the vicinity of nuclear facilities is developed.

The Project financial support allowed to extend widely a number of parameters under control and to increase a number of sampling sites. High level and stable contamination of underground waters with tritium, strontium, plutonium and cesium was determined near the radioactive waste storage (LSK-"Radon") that tends to penetrate into more deep ground horizons. Bioindication program for terrestrial plant communities was conducted for the first time. Analysis of variability of morphometric and cytogenetic characters of common pine revealed very expressed genotoxic effects of chemical origin.

Due to the Project, investigations of very important ecosystem components, phytoplankton and zooplankton interrupted earlier were restored. Fish monitoring in Koporskaya Bay and lakes of the Region was renewed too, that provided recognition of radiocesium contamination.

Efforts were undertaken on inventory of sources of harmful chemicals emissions in the area under observation. Assessment of biogenic loading on Koporskaya Bay drainage basin was carried out.

Currently the laboratory has extensive monitoring data base on radioecological, chemical and biological parameters, which is the most complete for the southern coast in the Russian part of the Gulf of Finland.

Radioecological data give evidence of raised contamination of aquatic ecosystems in Sosnovy Bor Region with Chernobyl radiocesium. In particular, radiocesium concentrations in fresh-water fishes exceed permitted levels for human population.

The Working meeting of May 25-26 1998 on results of the 1-st year completion (ISTC Project # 535) has recommended to put a methodology of organization of ecological monitoring developed in the frame of the Project #535 into correspondence with international standards of Hot Spot Monitoring and other FffiLCOM programmes. (The Baltic Sea Joint Comprehensive Environmental Programme. - Bait. Sea Environ. Proc. No. 48, HELCOM, 1993.). That is why it seems to be very-actual to supplement the ISTC Project #535 with new topics.

Firstly, taking into account permanent and significant anthropogenic press on coastal ecosystem of the eastern part of Koporskaya Bay, that is of importance for fishery and for rare species reproduction (atlantic salmon, lamprey, etc.), as well as an accelerated eutrophication process in this area, the above mentioned ecosystem may be considered the "hot spot" with complex contamination. This "hot spot" can be assigned a name of "Sosnovy Bor".

Secondly, for realization of the Working Meeting recommendations in accordance with Protocol (attached) it is necessary also 1) to arrange a Reference Area (RA) in the Russian south-eastern part of the Gulf of Finland, 2) to organize a Stationary Site for monitoring and to include this RA into the List of Baltic Sea Reference Areas from the side of Russian Federation.

RA Monitoring Programme, including coastal fish monitoring carried out in accordance with the FffiLCOM Guidelines for coastal fish monitoringshould be put into correspondence with international demands and criteria. The RA monitoring results will be used as reference information in comparison investigations to provide adequate assessment of the human activities influence in "hot spots", reflecting common condition of the Russian coast of the Gulf of Finland.

Aim of project proposal is to arrange "hot spot" monitoring in the eastern part of Koporskaya Bay (with assigning appropriate status) and to harmonize the basic Monitoring Programme of the Laboratory with regional monitoring programmes of HELCOM countries-participants. Besides, taking into account that radionuclide concentrations in some water bodies of the Region exceed permitted levels, it is necessary to conduct additional radioecological investigations for aims of radionuclide migration simulation, prediction and assessment of doses for human population from consumption of local fish.

Technological approach and methodology are based on the experience of scientific research of the Regional Environmental Monitoring Laboratory in the vicinity of nuclear facilities in Sosnovy Bor Region as well as on the international experience of HELCOM countries-participants in the Baltic Area.

Expected results:

- organization of monitoring at "hot spot" "Sosnovy Bor" and incorporation of the eastern part of Koporskaya Bay into the list of Baltic Sea "hot spots";

- organization of monitoring in a new Reference Area (RA) and incorporation of this RA into the List of Baltic Sea Reference Areas from the side of Russian Federation;

- integration of the Laboratory monitoring programme with international ecological monitoring programmes of HELCOM countries-participants in the Baltic Area;

- simulation of radionuclide behavior in aquatic ecosystems with assessment of radiation doses for human population and hydrobionts;

- releasing ecological bulletins;

Possible participation and interests of foreign collaborators:

Recently, Swedish colleagues from the Institute of Coastal Research in Oregrund namely: Erik Neuman, director and Olof Sandstrom, deputy director are collaborators in the frame of the ISTC Project #535.

Project proposal seems to be of interest for other HELCOM countries-participants in the Baltic Area.


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