Research and analysis

Environmental radioactivity surveillance programme: 2006 results

This report (HPA-RPD-039) contains the 2006 results of the Health Protection Agency (HPA) environmental radioactivity surveillance programme.



This report presents the 2006 results of the HPA (now Public Health England) environmental radioactivity surveillance programme. Within the main programme, samples of airborne dust and milk are collected routinely from selected locations within the UK, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. The activity concentrations of various radionuclides are measured.

In general, the radionuclides detected result from nuclear weapons tested in the atmosphere in earlier years and from the nuclear reactor accident at Chernobyl in the Ukraine in 1986, although the programme is able to detect any other sources of significant contamination.

The results indicate that concentrations of artificial radionuclides in the general environment remain at the low levels observed in recent years. In addition to the main programme, samples of airborne dust have been collected in the vicinity of the Sellafield nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in west Cumbria. The results are also consistent with those published by the site operator and government agencies.