Assessment of population radiation exposure at the edge of the exclusion zone 32 years after the Chernobyl accident: methods and preliminary results.

J.-M. Bertho, M. Maître, P. Croüail, W. Naito, N. Shkliarava, A. Mostovenko, K. Jones and M. Simon-Cornu

Radioprotection, Vol. 54, n° 4, (octobre-décembre 2019) 247-257.


A case study was conducted in the village of Komarin in Belarus at the edge of the Chernobyl exclusion zone, with the aim of evaluating the spatial and temporal variability in external and internal post- accidental radiation exposure. A database containing the radioactive measurements of foodstuffs made in Komarin over a 1990–2016 period makes it possible to estimate retrospectively the internal exposure. External exposure was prospectively studied through a citizen science approach involving a group of high school students and used two radioactive monitoring approaches, the D-shuttle© dosimeter and the OpenRadiation® system. Results showed that contamination level in food products varied over 2 to 4 orders of magnitude, underlining the usefulness of continuous monitoring of locally produced foodstuffs even more than 30 years after the Chernobyl accident. The study of external exposures showed that the current dose rates were similar to those usually observed elsewhere in the world, without any notable variations. More detailed analysis of these results will be conducted in future studies. This paper focuses on the methods used for the acquisition of data about both external exposure and foodstuff contamination and how it resulted in the strong involvement of high school students which in turn triggered a renewed interest in the practical radiological protection culture within the population of the village.


Download …