Estonia's radiation protection assessed

1 June 2006

The European Commission’s (EC's) radiation section of its nuclear energy directorate has given Estonia a largely clean bill of health regarding radiological protection, but has called for some improvements.

Checking the Estonian national monitoring network for environmental radioactivity, the EC said it should compare its practices with those of other European Union member states to improve “the nature and frequency of sampling.” For instance, Estonia does not check rainwater or grass for radioactivity, an omission noted by the commission assessment.

The commission also assessed former Soviet nuclear facilities, the Sillamäe Metal and Chemical Production Plant, which milled uranium ore until 1990, and the Paldiski training reactor facility, which had two research reactors (now dismantled) for training USSR naval personnel. For Sillamäe, the commission said monitoring was up to scratch, but that well-defined and resourced long-term monitoring would be required. It said Paldiski monitoring was adequate, with proper sampling and quality assurance procedures in place.

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