Norwegian and Finnish radiation authorities have together with the Murmansk Marine Biological Institute started a joint research project aimed at improvement of emergency preparedness capabilities and risk assessments in case of nuclear accidents in the region, a press release from The Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority Finland reads.
The initial meeting of this three-year project will be held in Sodankylä, Finland on 6-7 April 2011.
The project is called CEEPRA (Collaboration Network on EuroArctic Environmental Radiation Protection and Research) and will study the current state of radioactive contamination in terrestrial and marine ecosystems in the EuroArctic region by examining environmental samples collected from the Finnish Lapland, Finnmark and Troms in Norway, the Kola Peninsula and the Barents Sea.
The results will provide updated information on the present levels, occurrence and fate of radioactive substances in the Arctic environments and food chains. Special attention will be given to collection and analyses of natural products widely used by population in Finland, Russia and Norway, such as berries, mushrooms, fish and reindeer meat.
The region-specific risk assessments will be carried out through modeling and investigation of long-term effects of potential nuclear accidents in the EuroArctic region and possible impacts on the region’s indigenous population, terrestrial and marine environments, reindeer husbandry, the natural product sector, tourism and industries.
The project partners are The Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority Finland (STUK), which is coordinating the project, the Murmansk Marine Biological Institute (MMBI) from Russia, the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority (NRPA), the Finnish Meteorological Institute and Pöyry Finland Oy. The Norwegian Meteorological Institute will take part in the project as well.
The project is being funded by the European Union Kolarctic ENPI CBC programme administered by the Regional Council of Lapland and the Norwegian Kolarctic programme.