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More sensitive radiology monitoring in the Basque Country
Date:6/9/2008

This release is available in Spanish.

Networks for radiological monitoring are designed to monitor radioactivity levels in the environment and detect possible incidents. The PhD thesis defended by Ms Natalia Alegra at the University of the Basque Country provides a scientific methodology for distinguishing between natural radioactivity and radiological incidents caused externally.

Most countries currently have radiological monitoring to monitor radioactivity levels in the environment and to detect the level of natural radioactivity. Also amongst its aims is to monitor the compliance with agreements such as the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, as well as to detect and quantify a possible nuclear or radiological accident. Depending on the frequency of the samples taken, these networks are classified into two groups: control networks, the aim of which is to measure radioactivity in the air, the water, the soil and in foods; and alert networks for informing of the anomalous presence of values in air and water. To this end, alert networks take samples with frequencies of less than one hour and operate 24 hours a day. In Spain there exists a Radiological Alert Network and there are also four Autonomous Communities with their own networks, one of which the Basque Government launched in 2001.

Nevertheless, there has not existed to date a scientific methodology which enabled distinguishing between natural and anomalous values of radioactivity, to the point that certain radiological situations could go undetected. Ms Natalia Alegra Gutirrez addressed this lacuna at the University of the Basque Country (UPV-EHU) with her PhD thesis, Drawing up alarm levels and analysis of transitory situations at radiological monitoring stations. Dr. Alegra is an industrial engineer specialising in Energy Techniques and is currently working as le
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Contact: Alaitz Ochoa de Eribe
alaitzo@elhuyar.com
34-688-673-679
Elhuyar Fundazioa
Source:Eurekalert  

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