Monitoring in Ireland
The Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland, merged with the EPA in 2014, is responsible for monitoring radioactivity in the Irish environment. Through regular testing they are able to assess any changes in the radiation in Ireland, so they can be in a position to give advice and warnings if necessary.
The RPII monitors the:
- Air - permanent monitoring stations located throughout the country measure radiation in the air and the gamma dose rate.
- Food and water supplies.
- Marine life - samples of seawater, fish and shellfish are monitored to assess the exposure of the Irish population to marine radioactivity.
The RPII results are compiled from around 2,000 samples every year that are mostly taken at fixed locations.
The most recent monitoring data is available through this link and the data is updated on an on-going basis. The Radioactivity Monitoring of the Irish Environment 2014-2015 report showed radiation levels across air, food, drinking water and marine sources to all be within safe limits. The full report can be accessed here.
Met Éireann, local authorities and the Defence Forces all help in maintaining the permanent radiation monitoring stations around the country. Radiation levels are monitored on a 24 hour basis and any spike in the levels triggers an alarm which alerts the EPA/RPII.
National Emergency Plan
The response to radioactive contamination in Ireland is controlled by The National Emergency Plan for Nuclear Accidents (NEPNA). The Department of Environment, Community and Local Government has lead responsibility for the Plan, but other organisations are also involved:
- EPA Radiation Monitoring
- Department of the Taoiseach
- Department of Defence
- Department of Health
- Health Service Executive
- Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
- Food Safety Authority of Ireland
- An Garda Siochana
- Irish Coast Guard
You can find lots of FAQ's of the National Emergency Plan on the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government
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