2002 Radioactivity Report
AMAP, 2004. AMAP Assessment 2002: Radioactivity in the Arctic. Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), Oslo, Norway.
Radioactivity in the Arctic
The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme
(AMAP) was established in 1991 to monitor identified
pollution risks and their impacts on Arctic ecosystems. In
1997 the first AMAP report, Arctic Pollution Issues: A
State of the Arctic Environment Report* was published.
Radioactive Contamination and Vulnerability of Arctic Ecosystems
Monitoring the levels and trends of man-made radionuclides
in Arctic environments is a central part of the
AMAP programme. The first AMAP assessment presented
several radionuclide time series for the Arctic. Although,
some of these have been extended in the present
assessment, the main emphasis has been on the provision
of new information.
Nuclear Safety Initiatives
This chapter considers nuclear safety initiatives relating
to the eight Arctic countries. However, as many of the
practices that impact upon or present a hazard to the
Arctic environment are sited in northwest Russia, the emphasis
of this chapter is on that region. Safety initiatives
mostly relate to safety assessments of nuclear installations,
particularly nuclear power plants (NPPs); other
initiatives address regulatory improvements, arrangements
for physical protection, and nuclear safeguards.
Assessment of Human Exposure
The first AMAP assessment concluded that: ‘The vulnerability
of Arctic terrestrial ecosystems results in a fivefold
higher exposure to radioactive contamination compared
to that in temperate areas’. Many post-Chernobyl
studies have demonstrated that the highest exposures do
not necessarily occur in the most contaminated areas, especially
in the mid- to long-term after an accident.
Protection of the Environment from the Effects of Radiation
There is a growing awareness that radiation risk management
needs to address the question of effects on the
environment. Radiological protection has traditionally
been based on the protection of man. This is because the
international advisory body on such matters, the International
Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP),
has maintained a strong bias toward human health.
Potential Accident Scenarios
This chapter considers the nature and scale of consequences
arising from potential accidental releases of radioactivity
into the Arctic environment from sources
under human control.