11:19 30 Nov 2015



Environmental Monitoring for Radioactivity

To facilitate comparison of the various surveys carried out in the Plymouth area, results from the Environment Agency (EA)/Food Standards Agency (FSA)/ Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and Babcock surveys can be seen by following the links below.  These are the latest published reports.  Some differences between the results are to be expected because of the statistical uncertainties inherent in the measurement of radioactivity at the low levels present in the environment.

Available Reports:


Babcock makes regular surveys of radioactivity in the marine environment in accordance with the requirements of its Permit for the discharge of radioactive waste, issued by the Environment Agency.

Monitoring for radioactivity is carried out at various locations along the banks of the Rivers Tamar, Lyner, Tavy and Plym. Measurements are made of environmental gamma dose rates and samples are taken of the sediment along the low waterline, and of seaweed, mussels and river water at various points. The monitoring points and arrangements for monitoring, sampling and analysis have been agreed with the Environment Agency.

Download: Environmental Monitoring for Radioactivity around Devonport Royal Dockyard Annual Report 2013


The link below takes you to the Radioactivity in Food and the Environment annual report, RIFE-18. This report combines the results of independent monitoring for radioactivity in the environment carried out by the Environment Agency and Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) on behalf of the Food Standards Agency.

Link: RIFE-18


Habits Survey

Habits surveys are studies of the ‘habits’ of people in the vicinity of nuclear sites in order to find out how their diet and activities may affect their exposure to radioactivity.  They are carried out by Cefas on behalf of EA, FSA and HSE.  Information collected during voluntary interview with members of the public includes:

  • ·         The amount of locally produced food that is consumed;
  • ·         The amount of time spent undertaking activities in coastal areas; and
  • ·         The amount of time spent within 1 km of the nuclear site.

Surveys are carried out approximately every 5 years at each site to reflect possible changes in people’s habits.  A Habits Survey was carried out around Devonport in 2011 and a link to the report is included below.

Link: Devonport Habits Survey 2011


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