John Libbey Eurotext

Environnement, Risques & Santé

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Environmental risk analysis along a historical byway: actinium 227 pollution in the Clairvivre Health Centre Volume 2, issue 1, Janvier 2003

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Responsable scientifique et technique IRSN BP35 78116 Le Vésinet Cedex. Chef du service de surveillance de l‘environnement et de l‘intervention (SSEI) de l‘IRSN BP 35 78116 Le Vésinet Cedex. Sous‐directeur à la Direction générale de la sûreté nucléaire et de la radioprotection (DGSNR) 6, place du Colonel Bourgoin 75572 Paris Cedex 12. Ingénieur métrologiste à l‘IRSN BP 35 78116 Le Vésinet Cedex
  • Key words: air pollutants, radioactive; actinium; radiation monitoring; risk assessment; occupational exposure; radiation protection.
  • Page(s) : 26-34
  • Published in: 2003

The radiological assessment carried out by the Office of Protection Against Ionizing Radiation (OPRI) during 2000 and 2001 at the site of the Clairvivre (Dordogne) Health Care Centre was exemplary for several reasons. First of all, it took place in a region where traces of previous nuclear activity are rare. The site itself is atypical, since the Health Care Centre, built in 1933 by veterans, embodies most of the humanistic utopian ideals of the period between the two World Wars. The unexpected radioactive pollution found presents the occasion to remember the scientists who fled the Nazis at the beginning of World War II as well as the methods used at that time to extract some relatively rare radioelements. This study also merits discussion because it confirms the multiple aspects and technical importance of so‐called « operational » radioprotection and because of its public utility : the goal was not only to identify the pollutant but also to aid the victims by offering realistic solutions for their protection.