Monitoring of airborne radioactive substances in Lapland

Updated 2013-01-26

Part of the continuous nationwide monitoring of radionuclides in Finland. STUK is responsible for monitoring of radioactivities in atmosphere. STUK operates a network of eight aerosol samplers from which three are located in Finnish, Lapland at Rovaniemi, Sodankylä and Ivalo. The sampling is done either weekly or bi-weekly. Gammaspectroscopic measurements are done in the laboratory in Rovaniemi. The lowest activities are detected at microBq/m3 level.

This is a National Implementation Plan (NIP) project
Comments and additional information:

Addition to the previous comments: The aerosol sampler located from 1993 in Salla, Karhutunturi, was transferred in summer 1999 to Sodankylä. Now the aerosol and precipitation samplers are placed in the same location.

Time frame

Project time span
1987 -
Data collection
1987 -
Data processing
1987 -
Data reporting
1987 - 2012

Contact information

Contact person
Ari-Pekka Leppänen
STUK - Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority Regional laboratory in Northern Finland Lähteentie 2
+358 (0)9 75988371
Other project contacts
Aleksi Mattila STUK - Radiation and Nuclear safety Authority Laippatie 4 FIN-00881 Helsinki Finland

Parameters and Media

Parameter groups measured/observed/modelled
Media sampled/studied/modelled
Additional information or further specification of types of data / information collected, species / tissues / organs sampled, etc.

Sampling is performed using specially designed samplers, which filtrates large amount of air. Airborne radioactive particles are deposited on glassfibre filters whereas charcoal filters are used for gaseous species such as iodine. The samplers are manually operated. Small quantities of radioactive material may be detected using sophisticated laboratory analyses. In the laboratory the glassfibre filters are compressed, substituted into plastic beakers and analysed with a high-resolution gamma-ray spectrometer. Nuclide specific minimum detectable concentrations (micro Bq/m3) depends on filtrated air volume, activity of background nuclides in the sample, measuring time and decay time before the measurement.


Regions studied
Radioactivity TDC
Radioactivity TDC
Radioactivity TDC
Radioactivity TDC
Stations or areas where observations are made

Rovaniemi, Korkalovaara (flow rate 900 m3/h) Sodankylä, Meteorological Observatory (flow rate 150 m3/h) Ivalo (flow rate 150 m3/h) The Rovaniemi airfilter system is provided with detector on-line, which can be used in the early warning system.

Data availability

Are data archived or planned to be archived at an AMAP Thematic Data Centre?
Data centres
Atmospheric TDC
Radioactivity TDC
If no (or only part of data are reported to a TDC), where and how are (other) data stored?
Currently, only atmospheric 137Cs concentrations can be found in AMAP database at the Atmospheric TDC, Radioactivity TDC. All data is stored in STUK’s database and some data like 137Cs and 7Be are reported to EURDEP and CBSS databases.
References to key publications (or planned publications) and data reports
A.-P. Leppänen, and J. Paatero, “ 7Be in Finland during the 1999-2001 Solar maximum and 2007-2009 Solar minimum”, submitted to J.Atm.Soll-Terr.Phys. A.-P. Leppänen, et al. ”Cosmogenic 7Be and 22Na in Finland: Production, observed periodicities and the connection to climatic phenomena” J. Atm. Solar-Terr. Phys. 74, 164-180 (2012). A.-P. Leppänen et al., ”Cosmogenic 7Be in air: A complex mixture of production and transport”, J. Atm. Solar-Terr. Phys. 72, 1036-1043 (2010) I.G. Usoskin et al., ”Short term production and synoptic influences on atmospheric 7Be concentrations”, J. Geophys. Res., 114, D06108 (2009). A.-P. Leppänen and A. Grinsted, “Observations of cosmogenic Be-7 and Na-22 in aerosol samples in Northern Finland”, AIP Conf. Proc., 1034, pp 112 (2008).
Samples/specimens archived in specimen banks?
Specimen banking information

Glassfibre airfilters either in STUK/Rovaniemi or STUK/Helsinki since 1989.

Methods & Procedures

Procedures and methodology used for, e.g., sampling and sample storage, sample pretreatment, extraction and analysis, including which laboratories are involved, references to methods employed, etc.

Filters compressed into “pucks” for measurement or they are cut into roughly 12x12cm pieces. The filters are placed into plastic jars and stored in a metal canisters.

QA/QC Information (what QA/QC procedures are implemented, laboratories involvment in QA/QC activities, model verification/validation routines, etc.)

Intercomparison measurements e.g. NPL proficiency test exercises.

Additional Information

Is this a bi- AND multi-lateral project (i.e. a project involving cooperation between different countries)?
Is this project reporting to other organizations/programmes?

Routinely the information is reported to EURDEP and CBSS databases. Abnormal findings are reported to other international organizations.

Other related projects

Radionuclides in precipitation

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