Radioactive contamination of the air

Total ^-activity of atmospheric aerosols increased rapidly in April 1986 as the result of radionuclide release from the damaged reactor. However, starting from 1989, the ^-activity of aerosols has been primarily from natu­rally occurring radioactive elements.

In the contaminated areas, where farming activities (ploughing, harrow­ing, etc.) are actually not performed, the total ^-activity is 2-3 times less than that observed in areas not classified as radioactive contaminated zones. In case of intense works involving destruction of a soil surface layer, where the 137Cs contamination level is 370-555 kBq m-2, the radionuclide volumet­ric activity in aerosols at a height of 3-5 m may exceed the limits established by RSNU (1997).

The present average annual concentrations of 137Cs and 9 0Sr in aerosols are similar to the pre-accident levels, i. e. 0.08 x 10-5Bqm-3.

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