Radiation safety

In the Republic of Belarus the territory of the forest Fund, related to a radioactive contamination zone is 1668,7 thousand hectares or 17.6% of the total area of the forest fund. The main share of the woods polluted by radionuclides is under authority of the Ministry of Forestry of the Republic of Belarus (83,4%) and the Department for elimination of consequences of accident on the Chernobyl NPP of the Ministry of Emergency Situations (12,9%).

At present, the area of radioactive contamination of the forestry fund of the Ministry of Forestry is 8,360 thousand hectares (16.7% of the total area). According to the results of the radiation survey for the period from 2011 to 2016, the area of radioactive contamination of the forestry fund of the Ministry of Forestry decreased by 168.1 thousand hectares or 10.9%. Reducing the territory of radioactive contamination of forests is due to a decrease in the density of soil contamination by cesium-137 as a result of radioactive decay, radionuclide redistribution by components of forest ecosystems.

As the density of soil contamination with cesium-137 decreases, the dose rate of gamma radiation decreases by an average of 2.2% per year. On the most part (95%) of the territory of radioactive contamination of the forest fund in the course of forestry operations, compliance with radiation safety standards is ensured, (not exceeding the limit of the average annual radiation dose of 1 mSv.)

By 2020, the forest area in zones of radioactive contamination is expected to decrease to 1,245.0 thousand hectares.

Forest management in zones of radioactive pollution is regulated with taking into account density of pollution of soils by caesium-137, possibilities of receiving standardly net forest production, is carried out with obligatory radiation control. The control system of radioactive pollution of forest fund includes two subsystems: radiation control and radiation monitoring. Control of radioactive contamination in the forests carries out the radiation monitoring service of the Ministry of Forestry, including 40 accredited and certified structural units (departments, labs, posts) that perform the whole complex of works in 47 forest enterprises of branch.

The objects of control are: forest fund lands, forest fund plots and forest resources, forest products and products of its processing, forestry facilities and jobs, agricultural raw materials and feed, food products, medicinal and technical raw materials. Annually more than 9000 cutting areas are examined, the activity of caesium-137 is measured in 15000 tests of timber and 25000 samples of firewood, in tests of mushrooms, berries, and game meat products. When comparing of the measured values of specific activity with republican admissible levels of content of radionuclides in production (RDU/LH-2001, RDU-99), the possibility of her further use is defined.

All batches of the shipped forest production prepared in zones of radioactive pollution or made from the raw materials prepared in zones of radioactive pollution are followed by documents in which the print of a stamp of radiation safety is put and filled, and in the case of submission by the consumer of the requirement for the provision of a document certifying the content of radionuclides, the passport of radiation safety is made out.

To ensure the radiation safety of forestry workers and the public when visiting forests and using forest products, information is provided about the radiation situation in forests and the rules of forest use. The information is provided through the installation of warning and prohibitory signs in the forest, information and warning posters, information stands in the forest management offices, distribution of special literature, and also through the media, including in electronic format - on the websites of the forestries in the section "Radiation control", the website of the Institution "Bellesozaschita" bellesozaschita.by