The Chernobyl Accident Impact on Greece

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The deposition of total caesium in Greece

The above map is a rough reproduction of a draft produced by the Environment Institute of J.R.C. ISPRA by use of Greek data (1468 measurements provided by NES/NTUA and 462 measurements provided by ERL . The map is a part of the Atlas of Chernobyl pollution (EUR 16733), which is under preparation and will be published probably within July 1996.

Certain parts of Greece - together with Southern Germany, the Salzburg area of Austria, Northern Italy and extended regions of the Scandinavian Peninsula - are amongst the EU regions mostly contaminated after the Chernobyl nuclear accident. Other European countries with similar levels of contamination are Romania, Slovenia, Croatia and Bulgaria.

The ground contamination was determined not only by the integrated concentrations of artificial radionuclides in air, but also by the rainfalls during the presence of the "radioactive cloud". The heavy rainfalls in Western Macedonia and Thessalia during May 2 - 5, 1986 resulted in higher contamination of these regions as compared to Thrace, which is closer to Chernobyl.

The map shows the estimated pattern of the radioactive caesium deposition. These values are derived by high-resolution gamma-spectrometry analysis of samples of undisturbed soil.

Extended studies of the soil-to-plant transfer were undergone by the Soil Science Laboratory , Inst. of Biology, NCRPS "Demokritos", with the participation of ERL. It was shown that the root uptake of caesium by various agricultural plants is minor and has negligible radiological consequences for the Greek population.

A large survey of the caesium contamination of the Greek soils has been reported by Prof. S. Simopoulos, Nuclear Engineering Section of NTUA.

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