Department of Radiation and Environmental Monitoring

Historical background of the department of radiation and environmental monitoring

In 1990, a scientific department was created in the Polesie State Radiation-Ecological Reserve, consisting of three sectors, which included the sector of radiation-ecological monitoring.

In 1996, in accordance with the protocol of instructions of the President of the Republic of Belarus No. 08/80, a radioecological station was established in the former settlement of Masany to monitor the radiation situation and conduct radioecological studies in the near exclusion zone of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Being the closest scientific object to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on the territory of the Republic of Belarus, it initially makes it a unique testing ground for complex studies of the migration of radionuclides along the components of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. By the end of 1996, a reference network was formed at the station, wells were installed to monitor the level of groundwater, a meteorological site was created and instruments were installed on it for conducting surface meteorological observations.

In July 1998, the radioecological station was renamed into the Masana Research Station named after V.N. Fedorov, which became a part of the department of radiation and environmental monitoring, which was subsequently used for comprehensive research, covering the main directions of research programs, as well as contractual work on the problems of the near zone of the Chernobyl accident.

In 2017, the "Masany" research station was included in the State Register of Producers of Hydrometeorological Information.

At present, radiation and environmental monitoring includes monitoring and monitoring the state of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant contaminated with radionuclides, obtaining basic information for assessing and forecasting the overall radioecological situation. The use of radioecological monitoring data makes it possible to identify many patterns of changes in the radiation situation, the existence and development of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems under conditions of radioactive contamination of the territory and removal of anthropogenic load.

Radiation and environmental monitoring

Radioecological monitoring of the near zone of the Chernobyl NPP contains monitoring and control of the state of the territory contaminated with radionuclides, obtaining basic information for assessing and forecasting the general radioecological situation.

Research directions:
    • Study of weather and climatic conditions and their features to obtain meteorological information on the dynamics of the state of natural objects and their components, timely notification of emergency situations, natural extreme-dangerous phenomena;
    • Analysis of the dynamics and degree of variability of the equivalent dose rate of γ-radiation at the objects of the constant reference network;
    • Study of the processes of accumulation, redistribution and migration of radionuclides (137Cs, 90Sr, 241Am) in the components of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems;
    • Development of methods for predicting the radiation situation in the near zone of the Chernobyl NPP for a long time.
Research goal:

Monitoring, assessment and forecast of the radiation state of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems of PSRER in the remote period after the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.

The main objectives of the study:
    • Analysis of the influence of abiotic and biotic factors on the degree of accumulation of radionuclides (137Cs, 90Sr, 241Am) in various links of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems;
    • Investigation of the distribution patterns of radionuclides (137Cs, 90Sr, 241Am) between the components of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems (ground and surface waters, soil-vegetation complex, bottom sediments, hydrobionts);
    • Development of methods for predicting the radiation situation on the territory of PSRER in the remote period after the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.

The solution of the set tasks is achieved by conducting research at the permanent objects of the radiation-ecological monitoring network, the selection of which is based on the landscape-geographical approach. For their implementation in the near zone of the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the former settlement of Masany, a permanent research station was created, which is a structural unit of the department of radiation and environmental monitoring.

The station is located 11 km from the emergency fourth unit of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and serves as a reference point for conducting scientific research on a wide range of radioecological issues. High levels of radioactive contamination make it possible to study with high accuracy horizontal and vertical migration, the processes of removal and redistribution of radionuclides in various parts of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. This makes it possible to carry out reliable monitoring, to build a more accurate forecast of the development of the radiation and radioecological situation for the future.

To assess the impact of weather and climatic conditions on the radiation and environmental situation in the exclusion zone of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, a complex of hydrometeorological observations is carried out, taking into account the receipt of a comprehensive indicator of forest fires according to weather conditions.

The characteristics of the state and development of physical processes in the atmosphere are determined when it interacts with the underlying surface, measurements of meteorological parameters characterizing these processes are carried out.

Radioecological monitoring of the components of terrestrial ecosystems is carried out at the objects of the permanent reference network.

The dynamic processes of accumulation of radionuclides in various parts of terrestrial ecosystems are analyzed, and trends in the development of the radiation situation are revealed.

On the model reservoirs of the radiation-ecological monitoring network, studies of the regularities of the migration of radionuclides in various parts of aquatic ecosystems are carried out, and methods for predicting the accumulation of radionuclides are being developed.

Head of the Department of Radiation and Environmental Monitoring

Yuri Dmitrievich Marchenko

Е-mail: umd66@yandex.ru

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