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Radiation-Ecological Monitoring

Radiation-ecological monitoring includes observation and control of the contaminated Chernobyl NPP near zone condition, obtaining basic information for general radioecological environment assessment and forecasting. Experimental source information serves the basis for radioecological monitoring. The generator of this data are direct observations and measurements, obtained at the studied object, as well as sampling of the studied object. Radioecological monitoring data application allows to reveal numerous regularities of changes in radiation environment of the territory, functioning and development of surface and water ecosystems in the conditions of radioactive contamination of the territory and anthropogenic load removal.

Research objective:

Control and forecasting of radiation condition of water and terrestrial ecosystems of Polesye State Radiation-Ecological Reserve in remote period after Chernobyl NPP accident.

General research tasks:

Analyse the influence of abiotic and biotic factors on the radionuclides intake rate (137Cs, 90Sr, 241Am) by diverse units of the reserve terrestrial and water ecosystems;

Study the regularities of radionuclides (137Cs, 90Sr, 241Am) distribution between terrestrial and water ecosysytem components of the reserve (ground and surface waters, soil-vegetable complex, bed sediment, hydrocoles);

Develop radiation environment forecasting methods on the reserve territory in remote period after Chernobyl NPP accident.

Research directions:

Radiation-ecological monitoring of environmental objects in the Chernobyl NPP near zone in terms of scientific-research program.

Scientific-research works execution aimed at obtaining timely and reliable information on radiation situation changes in environmental objects considering meteorological impact.

For the purpose of long-term observation and forecasting of the radionuclides migration in soil, a network of permanent sample areas was set up, located in clean and mixed forest stands, meadow phytocenoses on automorphic, semi-hydromorphic and hydromorphic soils with different contamination density. One of the most objective characteristics of radiation environment changes is γ-radiation dose rate (DR), which, to a certain extent, reflects the concentration of γ-radiating nuclides in the environment.


For the purpose of studying the radionuclides vertical distribution, soil profile cuts are made at each permanent sample area.


Studying the radionuclides redistribution and migration processes in water and sediments, and

higher aquatic vegetation (HAV),

zooplankton, shell, and ichthyofauna is carried out in flowing and landlocked water reservoirs of Polesye State Radiation-Ecological Reserve, represented by a system of channels, different lake types, minor rivers and streams, bogs and floodings occupying 6.2% of the reserve territory (13353.7 ha). Major water intake of the exclusion zone is river Pripyat, crossing the territory from north-west to south-east and flowing into Kievskoe Vodokhranilishche.

To estimate the influence of weather-climate conditions on radiation-ecological environment in the Chernobyl NPP exclusion zone, the department employees keep daily meteorological record.

Condition and development of physical processes in the atmosphere and its interaction with the underlying surface are defined along with measurements of meteorological parameters characterizing these processes.

In order to fulfill radioecological monitoring in the Chernobyl NPP accident near zone, a permanent research station was set up in 1996 in the former settlement of Masany, being a structural division of the Scientific Department of Radiation-Ecological Monitoring.

The specificity of the station’s location at 12km from Chernobyl NPP allows to conduct research in most typical of the Polesye biogeocenoses: pine, birch, common alder forests, meadows, former agrocenoses, exposed to severe radioactive contamination. Along with this, meteorological data collecting and consistent radiological check-up of drainless and flowing water reservoirs, located in the vicinity of the plant, are fulfilled.



Head of the Scientific Department of Radiation-Ecological Monitoring

Yuriy Marchenko