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Environmental radioactivity in the Netherlands : Results in 2012

Radioactiviteit in het Nederlandse milieu : Resultaten in 2012


In 2012 the Netherlands fulfilled the European obligation to annually measure radioactivity in the environment and in food. All Member States of the European Union are required to perform these measurements each year under the terms of the Euratom Treaty of 1957. Moreover, the Netherlands complied with the guidelines (as established in 2000) for performing the measurements on a uniform basis for every Member State. The measurements provide background values of radioactivity which are present under normal circumstances. These can be used as reference values, for instance, during a nuclear emergency. The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) reports to the European Union about radioactivity in the environment on behalf of the Netherlands. Radioactivity in air, food, and milk In 2012 a radiological incident occurred, the consequences of which could be detected in the Netherlands. A radionuclide originating from an accidental release at a facility in Budapest (Hungary) was detected in air dust from 27 January until 2 February. The level of the radionuclide measured in the Netherlands as a result of this incident was very low and did not pose a threat to public health. Except for measurements performed during this radiological incident, levels in the air were normal and within the range of previous years. Radioactivity levels in food and milk were well below the export and consumption limits set by the European Union. Radioactivity in surface water In some locations, the radioactivity levels in surface water were above the target values set by the Vierde Nota Waterhuishouding (1998). Target values should preferably not be exceeded, but they are not set limits as such. The measured levels do not, however, pose a threat to public health.

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