International Conference "Radioecological research and monitoring in the Barents Sea and the Andreeva Bay area: current status, cooperation and further prospects" Murmansk, 25 October 2016


On October 25, 2016, an International scientific conference “Radiological research and monitoring in the Barents Sea and the Andreeva Bay area: current status, cooperation and further prospects” was held in the Nuclear energy industry information center aboard the nuclear-powered icebreaker “Lenin”. The event was organized by the Murmansk Marine Biological Institute in cooperation with ”Akvaplan-Niva AS”, Norway, and the Murmansk regional branch of the All-Russian non-governmental organization “Russian geographical society”.

This conference is the first in a series of thematic events dedicated to the twentieth anniversary of the Russian-Norwegian cooperation in the field of nuclear and radiation safety at Andreeva Bay.

The following issues were discussed:

- The state of knowledge on the radioactive contamination of various elements of marine ecosystems;

- The current radioecological status of coastal and marine ecosystems;

- The main directions of further research in monitoring of radioactive contamination of marine ecosystems.

Particular attention was paid to the current radioecological status of Andreeva Bay prior to regular operations of SNF and RW removal from the territory of the storage facility, as well as monitoring during SNF and RW transport from Andreeva Bay.

The conference was attended by representatives of Russian and Norwegian organizations engaged in radioecological research, monitoring and control of the radiation situation in the region, as well as handling and disposal of radioactive waste.

Norway was represented by the Norwegian Agency for Radiation and Protection Authority, “Akvaplan-Niva AS”, the Institute of Marine Research, the Norwegian Meteorological Institute who shared the results of their work. Russia was represented by the Murmansk Marine Biological Institute, the Murmansk Region Emercom Main Department, the Public Council of Rosatom in the Murmansk region.

One can tell of a strong interest to the event as there was an active discussion when the Conference drew to a close. NRPA (Ingar Amundsen, Inger Eikelmann) and MMBI (Denis Moiseev) representatives noted the high quality of radio-ecological studies conducted by Russian and Norwegian scientists. They also stressed the importance of activity carried out by non-governmental organizations of the Murmansk region and northern regions of Norway in the field of radiation control, safe use of nuclear energy and prevention of emergency situations. Norwegian speakers expressed the hope that laid in previous years international cooperation, would not fade away, and new organization would join them. During the discussion, various international funds and programs, as KolArctic CBC, were mentioned as a possible source of additional funding for joint projects.

Conference participants repeatedly emphasized that current radio-ecological studies are based on the theory and methodology of multidisciplinary scientific field - Radiation and Environmental oceanography, developed at the turn of the century by a corresponding member of Russian Academy of Sciences Dmitry Matishov (1966-2015). This field of knowledge includes studies on regularities of accumulation and migration of radionuclides in the environment and biota, dependence of radiation contamination on physical and chemical characteristics of the environment, processes and phenomena that cause self-cleaning of marine ecosystems. Dmitry Matishov prematurely died in the rise of his creative activity. He had a lot of new ideas and plans. But what he has achieved became an integral part of our knowledge about the nature of arctic and southern seas of Russia.

Aleksey Bambulyak, “Akvaplan-Niva AS”, suggested that organizations performing monitoring of radiation hazardous objects at the national level, including the facility for Radioactive Waste Management, the Andreeva Bay Department, should intensify efforts to involve research institutes as independent experts in the performance of such activity. According to him, only scientists having extensive databases and in-depth knowledge on the processes occurring in marine ecosystems, are able to assess objectively the real and potential danger of the consequences of spent nuclear fuel transport from the facility.

Gennady Ilyin, MMBI KSC RAS, made a concrete proposal to revise and update a database on radioactive contamination of environment and biota of the coastal zone of the Barents Sea along the proposed transport route in the months ahead the start of the transportation of spent nuclear fuel from Andreeva Bay. On the basis of the updated database it is necessary to construct maps reflecting current contamination levels of the Barents Sea coastal ecosystem with artificial radionuclides (since the last update of the Atlas of chemical and radioactive contamination of the Barents Sea partly containing such information was carried out in 2003).

Mikhail Timofeev, the Head of the division of Civil defense, Emergency Situations and Fire safety of the Committee on the Population Safety Maintenance of the Murmansk Region, suggested the opportunity to conduct joint exercises with engagement of a larger number of relevant organizations.

The participants asked the representatives of the Public Council of Rosatom State Corporation in the Murmansk region, who were present at the Conference to provide information about the event at the V Information seminar “History, current status and prospects of rehabilitation of nuclear and radioactive facilities at Andreeva Bay”, held on 26-27 October, 2016, by the State Corporation “Rosatom” together with “Bellona Murmansk”.

According to both sides, in spite of changes in foreign policy the Russian-Norwegian cooperation in the field of radiation safety, particularly as regards polar regions is maintained at a good level and there are prospects for its increase and development.

1) 1. TV-21 channel

2) 2. "Arctic-TV" channel


3. State TV and Radio Broadcasting Company "Murman", the second all-Russian channel "Russia 1"

4. Online media News Agency "B-Port"

5. Online media News Agency "B-Port"

6. The official website of the Nuclear Energy Industry Information Center in Murmansk

7. The official website of EMERCOM Russia, News of the Northwestern Federal District