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Radiation monitoring system successfully operates in Belarus

MINSK, 21 April (BelTA) – A well-developed system for monitoring radiation levels successfully operates in Belarus. Mikhail Kovalenko, Head of the Radiation Monitoring Service of the National Center for Hydrometeorology, Radioactive Contamination Control, and Environmental Monitoring (Belhydromet) of the Belarusian Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Ministry, made the statement during a meeting of the Expert Community project held in BelTA's press center to discuss the social and economic development of the territories affected by the Chernobyl catastrophe.

According to Mikhail Kovalenko, radiation monitoring has been in place in Belarus since 1963. Further enhancement of the system was prompted by the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and the need to start monitoring such potentially hazardous installations as nuclear power plants in neighboring countries. The network for monitoring radiation levels in atmospheric air was greatly expanded and the monitoring of radiation levels in soils and surface waters began in the first decade after the Chernobyl catastrophe.

Apart from sites where samples are collected manually there is a network of automated radiation monitoring stations. These stations upload real-time data every ten minutes. Belhydromet's network includes 32 automated radiation monitoring stations. Of them 22 ones are located in the influence zones of neighboring countries, including in the influence zone of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Ten stations are located in the area of the Belarusian nuclear power plant.