Research and analysis

Environmental radioactivity surveillance programme: 2009 results

This report (HPA-CRCE-022) contains the 2009 results from the HPA environmental radioactivity surveillance programme.

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This report contains the measurement data for 2009 from the Health Protection Agency’s (now Public Health England) environmental radioactivity surveillance programme.

Samples of airborne dust and milk are collected routinely from selected locations within the UK, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. 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 consistent with those published by the site operator and government agencies.