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Control of Population Irradiation


Development of Instruments and Methods for the System of Environmental Radiation Monitoring and Control of Irradiation of Population in Russia.

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-MIN/Monitoring and Instrumentation/Environment

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
VNIPI Promtechnology, Russia, Moscow

Supporting institutes

  • Khlopin Radium Institute, Russia, St Petersburg\nResearch Testing Center for Radiation Safety of Space Objects, Russia, Moscow\nState Special Project Institute, Russia, Moscow\nSt Petersburg State Polytechnical University / Research & Production Complex, Russia, St Petersburg\nScientific Research Institute of Industrial and Marine Medicine, Russia, St Petersburg\nScientific Research Institute of Radiation Hygiene, Russia, St Petersburg


  • San Francisco State University, USA, CA, San Francisco

Project summary

The project is aimed at organizing a unified system of norms, standards, guidelines, methods, and equipment to carry out large-scale radiation monitoring all over Russia with a view to protecting population against exposures to very high personal radiation doses and to attaining an economically feasible reduction of the collective dose received by population from natural radiation sources.

The many-year researches carried out in some regions of Europe and North America have demonstrated that the natural radiation sources make the major contribution to the indoor and occupational exposure of population. The irradiation levels induced by natural radionuclides vary strongly from region to region, as well as within a given region, while the exposure of population groups exceed the region-averaged levels by more than an order.

In the recent years, the participant in the proposed project carried out dozens of thousands of measurement runs to record radon concentrations indoors, as well as a few thousands of measurement runs to detect soil radon exhalation in various construction sites. Regions of potential radon hazard have been found (Karelia, North Caucasus, Urals, Altai, East Siberia, etc.). In some settlements, the indoor radon concentrations were recorded to exceed 500 Bq/m3 in 10-15% of dwellings, and even 50,000 Bq/m3 in a few dwellings. Tentative estimates have shown that some 1% of population of Russia (i.e., 1.5 million people) receive 10 /year, and even higher doses, from natural radionuclides.

Thus, protection against natural radiation sources is among the high-priority tasks in securing radiation safety for population of Russia. The protective measures are proposed in the project to support by the combined geophysical, dosimetric, and epidemiological researches aimed at preparing the norms, standards, techniques, and meters to be used in large-scale radiation monitoring all over Russia.

The project embraces

- research into soil radon exhalation, indoor radiation environment formation, and efficacy of protective measures in some of the highest radon-hazardous regions of Russia;
- development of methods for predicting indoor radon occurrences and for calculating the antiradon protection parameter, development and tests of technologies to be used in constructing various buildings on radon-hazardous terrain;
- manufacturing of prototype equipment to be used to map radon hazard levels on construction sites and to large-scale measure integral radon activity indoors; metrological approval of the equipment, comparing the latter with its foreign-made counterparts;
- indoor radiation surveys in the potential radon-hazardous regions, retrospective estimation of cumulative personal doses and lung cancer cases among the inhabitants found to have been exposed to high radiation levels.

The realization of the project will yield

1. scientific results into soil radon exhalation, indoor radiation environment formation, and efficiency of protective measures which can be used as scientific base to develop a set of documents for practical use as

- Concepts and Norms Underlying Population Protection against Natural Radionuclides,
- Concepts and Structure of the Monitoring System for Estimating Exposure of Population to Natural Radionuclides,
- Concepts of Radon Measurement Unification,
- Guide for Estimating Radon Hazard on Construction Sites and for Predicting Radon Intake to Buildings,
- Building Code and Instructions on Radiation-Ecological Surveys in Territories to be Populated,
- Methodological Guidelines for Selective Radiation Monitoring of Buildings, Methods of Antiradon Protection in Buildings,
- Guide for Detecting Occurrences and Measuring Activity of Natural Radionuclides in Production Areas, Dwellings, and Environment,
- Sanitary Guidelines for Rehabilitation of Natural Radionuclide-Contaminated Terrain,
- Methodological Guidelines for Testing New Building on Radiation Factors.

2. optimal sets of methods and equipment to be used in large-scale measurements of radiation-hazardous factors indoors and in the areas to be populated, namely,

- Model Regional Database of Natural radiation Background Level,
- Versatile Measurement and Computation Outfit for Radon Monitoring (large-scale measurements of radon in air and waters, of soil radon exhalation, of radon emanation and diffusion in rocks, etc.),
- Set of Automated Equipment with Nuclear Track Detectors for large-scale Measurements of Integral Radon Activity Concentrations Indoors,
- Test Bench for Calibrating and Verifying Radon Radiometers (including meters of soil radon exhalation).

3. information on personal and collective radiation doses received by population to be used in estimating the cancerogeneous effect of exposure to radon progeny will be compiled to take the form of

- Report on the Results of Combined Radiation-Ecology and Epidemiology Researches in some Regions of Russia (including Moscow Region and Caucasus Spring Water Region).

Potential role of International Cooperation

Realization of the project will give fresh impetus to the above researches and, simultaneously, make it possible to advance in resolving some key problems that would be of interest to the international scientific community. This refers, for example, to estimating the cancerogeneous effect induced by indoor occurrences of radon and its progeny, to predicting the radon hazard categories with a view to take appropriate protective measures on construction sites, to organizing a system for large-scale radiation monitoring of natural radionuclides, which will make it possible, given acceptable expenditures, to record all the places of high radon concentrations indoors and to estimate personal irradiation doses.

The participants in the project invite scientists from abroad to co-operate. In the cooperation. The experience gained all over the world can, thus, be used in full swing, and the results of the project can be realized in the interests of the international community.

The following scientific institutions may be regarded as potential collaborators.

1. Physics Research Laboratory, University of San Francisco, USA, Prof. Eugene A-Benton;
2. C-W-H GmbH, Germany, Dr. Peter Ossenkopf;
3. Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, USA, Prof. Lev Ruzer and Richard Sextro;
4. Department of Physics, Lund Institute of Technology, Sweden, Prof. Gilbert Jonsson.

All of the scientific institutions and commercial companies that may be interested in the Project are invited to co-operate. The foreign experts in commercializing technological, methodological, and engineering developments are also invited.


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