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Radioactive Contamination in Georgia

#G-761


New Approach to the Monitoring of the Radiocontamination (Sr-90, Cs-137) of Georgia's Plant Cover and Soils

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-MIN/Monitoring and Instrumentation/Environment

Status
3 Approved without Funding

Registration date
02.07.2001

Leading Institute
Sukhumi Institute of Physics and Technology, Georgia, Tbilisi

Collaborators

  • Universität Hamburg / Institut für Geographie, Germany, Hamburg\nCenter for Agricultural Landscape and Land Use Research, Germany, Müncheberg\nCalifornia Polytechnic State University, USA, CA, San Luis Obispo\nUniversity of Tsukuba / Japan Soil Research Institute, Japan, Tsukuba\nFederal Environmental Agency, Germany, Langen\nKatholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, Leuven\nUniversity of Bologna, Italy, Bologna\nIowa State University of Science and Technology / Ames Laboratory, USA, IA, Ames\nIowa State University of Science and Technology / Ames Laboratory / Iowa State Water Resources Research Institute, USA, IA, Ames\nEuropean Commission / Joint Research Center / Environmental Institute, Italy, Ispra\nJustus-Liebig-Universität Giessen, Germany, Giessen\nBundesamt für Naturschutz, Germany, Bonn\nFondation Charles Leopold Mayer, France, Paris

Project summary

The purpose of the Project is to organize in accordance with the vertical zonality of the objects of investigation, systematic monitoring of the contamination of Georgia’s plant cover and soils by Sr-90 and Cs-137 and to draw up corresponding recommendations.

Another purpose of the Project is to make, on the basis of elicited zones of radiocontamination, corresponding maps for timely forecasts of the contamination of crops, pastures, large forest tracts, and soils by biologically hazardous chemical elements, and to take corresponding protective actions.

The topicality of the Project is determined by:

– Georgia’s geographic location in the zone of the highest nuclear fall-out (40-50 degrees north);


– the high-level radiocontamination of the country’s territory owing to the Chernobyl catastrophe;
– the pressing necessity of finding out of the regularities of radionuclide distribution in the plants and soils of Georgia, which is characterized by having almost all climatic zones as well as large forest tracts and huge drinking water reserves (including those of mineral waters) and is notable for its compound relief, persity of soil conditions, and multiformity of unique plants;
– the feasibility of generalizing results of the Project implementation for the whole of the Caucasus region.

At present time Georgia is in badly need of financial assistance for conducting corresponding up-to-the-mark and up-to-date investigations and for organization of a corresponding monitoring of radiocontamination of Georgia’s plant cover and soils.

The new and distinguishing feature of the Project is its participants’ intention, on the basis of the data obtained in their earlier and recent investigations, to:

– study the dynamics of radiocontamination of various biological objects;


– determine the content of these two biologically active nuclides in various biocenoses;
– develop a corresponding concept of the regularities of migration and translocation of radionuclides.

The scientific novelty of the Project consists in the intended (1) detection of the peculiarities of environmental radiocontamination in Georgia and (2) generalization of the results to be obtained in the investigation, for the countries with similar natural conditions.

The practical value of the Project results from the intended:

– determination of the levels of long-lived radionuclide contamination of the regions to be investigated;


– detection of the peculiarities of this very hazardous environmental pollution;
– cartography of radiocontamination areas;
– drawing up, on the basis of results obtained, of corresponding recommendations.

The economic benefit of realization of the Project is expected to follow from the possibility to obtain, on the basis of proper use of the results obtained, high-quality (from the hygiene and sanitary point of view) crops, which, in its turn, is expected to enable the State and farmers to produce “pure” (containing minimum quantity of radionuclides) agricultural products for both internal consumption and export.

From the ecological point of view, the Project is of particular importance. In each biocenosis and in each of its components corresponding actions on decontamination and improvement of the environment are expected to be realizable.

The Project is of great importance from the humane point of view, because the use of results obtained is expected to enable the country to achieve significant decrease both of the radiocontamination of its plant cover and soils, drinking water, and medicinal waters and of entry of these biologically hazardous nuclides into the human organism.


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