For over a decade, Fareham Borough Council has been a member of the Southern England Radiation Monitoring Group (SERMG), set up following the Chernobyl nuclear accident in 1986.
Assessment of environmental anthropogenic radioactivity levels is carried out in two ways:
Continuous gamma monitoring involves measuring the general background radioactivity of a specific site. Fareham Borough Council has a continuous gamma monitoring probe situated on the roof of the Civic Offices in Fareham town centre.
The Geology Department of Southampton Oceanography Centre carry out detailed radiochemical analysis of environmental samples collected by Fareham Borough council. This method provides information on the man-made radioactive elements that exist in the sample. Fareham Borough Council currently samples eggs, milk, grass, soil, sediment and seaweed from four different sites across the Borough.
The results are collated with those of other local authorities to provide information for the area over a period of time. Any fluctuations in radioactive content derived from man-made sources can then quickly be identified and an estimate made of the likely transfer of activity into the food chain.
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