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Radioactivity in the environment and radiation exposure of the population

Data on radioactivity in the environment in Slovenia are collected, analysed and assessed each year in reports for each of the radioactivity monitoring programmes. The data are collected in the Annual Report on Radiation and Nuclear Safety in the Republic of Slovenia. The final report includes measured concentration levels and sample data: date of sampling, sample quantity, precipitation quantity, etc.

Annual reports on environmental and operational monitoring

Measurement results are accompanied by a report that explains the compliance or non-compliance with the previous measurements and measurements from nearby sampling locations, occurrence of elevated concentrations in different samples of the same location etc. The report can also include a comparison with the global average levels (UNSCEAR reports) or a level comparison based on a national monitoring of neighbouring or other European countries. The report explains the deviations from expected levels, which can occur either due to a systematic sampling or measurement error or due to another reason that led to the unexpected variations of the results.

Annual report of the Slovenian Nuclear Safety Administration

The annual report of the Slovenian Nuclear Safety Administration summarises significant findings obtained from the monitoring results from the national network and in programmes for operational monitoring.

The short and extended abstract of findings from radioactivity monitoring present the state of radioactivity in all environmental elements (air, soil, water, precipitation, surface waters) and in drinking water, food and animal feed. They mainly supply information on annual concentration levels of artificial radionuclides that have caused an increase in the radioactivity of the environment.

Annual report on radiation exposure of the population of the Slovenian Radiation Protection Administration

On the basis of the radioactivity measurements from the national monitoring network, an effective dose is calculated for the most exposed population groups, i.e. for adults and children of different age groups (infants, children of 7–12 years of age). The annual report of the Slovenian Radiation Protection Administration also includes the results of systematic monitoring of radon in the living and working environment. Within the monitoring programme, measurements are carried out in schools and kindergartens, as well as other indoor spaces where increased concentrations of radon are to be expected (subterranean workspaces, older buildings, buildings in areas with increased radioactivity and buildings from material with higher radium content).

Reporting data to the European network (REM, EURDEP)

In accordance with Article 36 of the Euratom Treaty, Slovenia must share the results of radioactivity monitoring in the environment to the European Commission. The data from automatic gauges are regularly sent to EURDEP system, established at JRC Ispra in Italy. Once a year, Slovenia also sends data from the national monitoring network to the REM system, which is also at JRC Ispra.

The connection to the EURDEP system enabled the Slovenian Nuclear Safety Administration to obtain real-time access to data from all EU countries and most of the other countries. If such system were in place at the time of the Chernobyl accident in 1986, people would have been regularly informed about the spread of contamination across Europe. This would have made it possible to prepare a plan for carrying out  protective and remediation measures more efficiently and faster.