Radiation levels in the UK are monitored regularly.
They’re monitored by the Radioactive Incident Monitoring Network (RIMNET), the Environment Agency, Public Health England, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and operators of nuclear sites.
Environment agencies monitor radioactivity to:
- check whether radiation exposure conforms to legal limits
- check that radioactivity in food and the environment from authorised releases and discharges does not affect people’s health or the environment
- gather long-term information on concentrations and trends so that we can identify any changes and take action if required
- assess the public’s total exposure to radiation around nuclear sites
The UK environment agencies run a monitoring programme where they sample and analyse air, rain and drinking water sources (rivers, reservoirs and groundwater) for radioactivity, which can detect contamination down to very low levels.
Monitoring includes several high volume air samplers, which are capable of detecting tiny amounts of radioactive particles in the air. Analysis can be carried out for short lived radionuclides. Results are published in Radioactivity in food and the environment (RIFE) reports.
The National Dose Assessment Working Group (NDAWG) deals with assessment of radiation doses to the public and the environment resulting from radioactive discharges.
Published: 1 December 2013
Updated: 27 October 2016
- Link to new report: Radioactivity in food and the environment 2015, RIFE 21.
- New report added: Radioactivity in food and the environment 2014, RIFE 20.
- New report - Radioactivity in food and the environment 2013: RIFE 19
- First published.