Radiation Working Group
To provide local information on environmental conditions in the case of a radiation incident occurring which is of significance to inhabitants of the Manchester region, achieved by:
The Radiation Group was formed shortly after the Chernobyl radiation incident in 1986 which released large amounts of radioactive material into the atmosphere and affected this country together with Europe as a whole. Prior to the group’s formation, information on contamination from radiation incidents was only available from central government, mainly through the RIMNET monitoring network (the nearest station to our region being at Manchester airport. Local residents required information at a local level rather than a regional one and hence the group was formed to address this need. A continuous gamma-radiation in air monitoring programme has been operated since 1992 and environmental samples have been tested for radiation. As well as providing an early warning of a radiation incident, this monitoring regime has enabled background levels of radiation in this area to be determined.
Current Work Areas
The group continues to work towards a planned response to any future radiation incident and coordinates the needs and responses of the member authorities in terms of training and liaison with other regional groups and interested parties.
Future Work Areas
Further work for the group will include the updating of the existing radiation plans, discussions on the efficiency of the monitoring programme with the potential need to develop an ability to monitor other than gamma-radiation. The group has in the past discussed the environmental implications of non-ionising radiation and will continue to keep abreast of developments in this field to determine the possible need for monitoring and the provision of specialist advice to the public.
Other Work Areas
MAPAC is one of a number of regional groups of local authorities and emergency planning units who work along similar, co-ordinated lines to provide local information on radiation matters. These groups, spread across the country, provide information supplemental to that which is provided by central government which operates a national radiation monitoring network.
There are a number of current environmental issues under the general heading of ‘radiation’. For more information on:
Radon, electromagnetic fields, ultraviolet radiation and natural sources of radiation, mobile phones, masts and health visit the Health Protection Agency website: :
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