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WP 1. Terrestrial Environment

The work package focused on terrestrial radioactivity, arctic freshwater ecosystems and food chain surveys in Finland, Norway and Russia.

Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority (NRPA) was the leader of WP 1. The activities and main results included

  1. The laboratories of STUK, NRPA and MMBI participated in an international intercomparison exercise where low-activity samples were sent to the laboratories for analysis. Based on the results of the analyses, the proficiency and quality of the laboratories were assessed. The intercomparison samples were received in autumn 2011 and the analyses were completed by the beginning of 2012. Each laboratory showed a good performance.
  2. The laboratories of STUK, NRPA and MMBI exchanged information on the sample types and species, sampling and sample treatment methods, radioactivity measurements and reporting of results as well as the results obtained before the project. The capacities and analysis methods of the laboratories and their possibilities to expand were discussed. The laboratories compiled lists of key species and sample types that could be used for following and assessing the changes in the state of environmental radioactivity. Agreements were made of the sampling and analyzing methods used in regard to obtain comparable results between countries and laboratories. When the species were selected the focus was on the natural products that are commonly collected and utilized in each country (berries, mushrooms, game, fish, reindeer meat). Lichens, mosses and soil were collected in order to assess the transfer of radionuclides via food chains.
  3. The researchers from the participating laboratories arranged a sampling trip in Svanhovd in Finnmark region of Norway in autumn 2012. Samples of vegetation and soil were collected and taken back home by each participant. During autumn/winter 2012/2013 the samples were analyzed ant the results of each laboratory compared. The main aim was to compare the sampling, pretreatment and analysis methods of participating laboratories.
  4. The current status of radioactive contamination in the terrestrial environment in the EuroArctic region was assessed during the project.
  5. Reports and publications were written based on the joint environmental researches and their results. The results were also presented in several international conferences. Scientific articles were published in international peer-reviewed scientific publications. In the end of the project, a popular booklet on environmental radioactivity of the Euro-Arctic region was compiled.

WP 1 publications:

A report on environmental radioactivity of EuroArctic area (available upon request from NRPA or STUK): Gwynn, J.; Leppänen, A-P.; Kasatkina, N: The current status of levels of radiologically important radionuclides in the terrestrial environments across Troms and Finnmark (Norway), Lapland (Finland) and Murmansk Oblast (Russia).

A report on the Svanhovd joint field work (available upon request from NRPA or STUK): Moller, B.; Nalbandyan, A: Assessment of the joint field work performed by NRPA, STUK and MMBI in Norway in 2012. Proposed strategies for future cooperation.

A scientific publication on the radioactivity of mushrooms and berries of Murmansk Region: Matishov, G.G.; Kasatkina, N.E.; Usyagina, I.S.; Farion, D.A.: Artificial Radionuclides in Edible Wild Mushrooms and Berries of the Murmansk Region. Doklady Earth Sciences, 2014, Vol. 455, Part 2, pp. 463–468.

A report on the effects of the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident on the environmental radioactivity in the EuroArctic region: Leppänen, A-P.; Kasatkina, N.; Moller, B.; Nalbandyan, A: Traces of Fukushima nuclear power plant accident observed in the EuroArctic region.