20/04/2015 Regional Training on Measuring Radioactivity in the Coastal and Marine Environment

PERSGA has organized at its Headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia a Regional Workshop on Measuring Radioactivity in the Coastal and Marine Environment. The workshop that joined specialists from all PERSGA member states. The Arabic Atomic Energy Agency was also invited. The workshop conducted during the period April 20th - 222nd 2015 was facilitated by regional and international experts. 

Radionuclides may exist in the marine and coastal environment both naturally and from anthropogenic sources. Anthropogenic nuclides can persist in the marine and coastal environment for long periods especially in enclosed seas where the exchange of water with the open ocean is limited such as the case of the Red Sea. Radionuclides with suitable half-lives play an important role in a number of technologies, for example ionization smoke detectors and nuclear medicine. Radiopharmaceuticals and radiotracer are widely used in  radiation therapy. The continuously increasing spread of using nuclear technology and the need for management radioactive wastes results in increasing possibilities of exposure to radiation. This makes monitoring radioactivity in the atmosphere and coastal waters of significant importance and calls for joint efforts between the different concerned national and regional agencies. 

Information on radioactive material concentrations in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden is almost completely absent. PERSGA is leading an initiative for establishing a network of online monitoring systems. Online monitoring of radioactivity in air and in seawater has advanced significantly in the last decade. However, in order for such an initiative to succeed in achieving its objectives, it is essential to train coastal managers in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden on basic understanding of radioactivity and interpretation of monitoring results. 

 The main objective of the workshop was to introduce practitioners in the coastal environmental management to the methods used in measuring the levels of natural and artificial radionuclides in the marine and coastal environment. The workshop focused on monitoring gross radioactivity and interpreting the monitoring results. General topics discussed include interpreting results of online monitoring systems incorporating radioactivity sensors, possible source of radioactive discharges and a practical approach for measuring environmental levels of radioactivity in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, thematic reports covering issues of naturally occurring radionuclides as well as releases and dispersion of manmade radionuclides from non-nuclear activities, aiming at risk assessment of radioactivity in the coastal and marine environment

The Regional Organization for the Conservation of the Environment in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden