Book published about radioactivity in the Arctic and Nordic Seas

The book “Radioactivity and Pollution in the Nordic Seas and Arctic Region: Observations, Modelling and Simulations” has been published by Springer-Praxis is book No. 5 in the Nansen Center´s Polar Series. The authors are Ola M. Johannessen, Vladimir A. Volkov, Lasse H. Pettersson, Vladimir S. Maderich, Mark J. Zheleznyak, Yongqi Gao, Leonid P. Bobylev, Andrey V. Stepanov, Ivan A. Neelov, Viktor P. Tishkov and Sven P. Nielsen, from several Norwegian, Russian, Ukraine and Danish research institutions.

This book is the result of a decade of studies dedicated to the spreading of radioactive pollution in the Nordic Seas and Arctic, focused on the many land-based industrial sources in Siberia, as well as pollution from the European nuclear-fuel processing plants in Sellafield, into the Irish Sea and La Hague, into the English Channel. It is based on the results of several projects funded by EU, INTAS and the Research Council of Norway, of which the main conclusions are obtained from the EU INCO-COPERNICUS-II Project: “Simulation scenarios for potential radioactive spreading in the 21st century from rivers and external sources in the Russian Arctic coastal zone - RADARC”, (ICA2-CT-2000-10037), coordinated by Ola M. Johannessen. The main aim of investigations has been to assess the spreading of radioactive pollution under both current natural conditions and future potential scenarios of accidents. The results of these studies were also intended to support decision-making in risk prevention, forecasting and preparedness.

The Nordic Seas, the Arctic Ocean and the coastal zone of the Russian Arctic, have been exposed to radioactivity from both atmospheric fallout and other European and Russian sources. A Generic Model System was created, providing a new tool for assessing the potential spread of radioactivity in the Arctic Ocean and the Nordic Seas, enabling subsequent simulation and risk assessment of potential impacts. This book covers a range of important topics related to sources and spreading of radioactive pollution in the Nordic Seas and Arctic, including the basins of the Ob’ and Yenisei Rivers that feed into the Russian Arctic seas. The book provides a comprehensive description of radionuclear sources in the Arctic and potential pathways of radioactive pollution transport from land-based sources, along rivers and into and within the Arctic Ocean and the Nordic Seas. It also includes a similar analysis for non-radioactive toxic pollutants, such as Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). The book represents an integrated and thoroughly referenced compilation of material from open international and Russian literature, written together in this way for the first time. Here the authors combine results from observations and new numerical modelling of spreading of contamination, as well as conducting a risk assessment.

In addition the book;
• discusses simulation studies of current radioactivity from known sources such as the European Sellafield and LeHague, atmospheric fallout and Siberian rivers;
• includes a detailed analysis of the sources and levels of radioactivity in the Kara Sea region and its current and potential future impact on the Arctic Ocean, Barents, Greenland and Norwegian Seas;
• describes for the first time hypothetical release scenarios for radionuclides using atmospheric forcing scenarios, including global warming, consistent with a CO2 doubling during the 21st century.

Full reference: Johannessen,O.M., V.A. Volkov, L.H. Pettersson, V.S. Maderich, M.J. Zheleznyak, Y. Gao, L.P. Bobylev, A.V. Stepanov, I.A. Neelov, V.P. Tishkov, S.P. Nielsen: Radioactivity and Pollution in the Nordic Seas and Arctic Region: Observations, Modelling and Simulations. Nansen Center´s Polar Series No. 5, Springer –Praxis Publishing, 408 pp. ISBN: 978-3-540-24232-1, March 2010.

The book can be purchased at:

The Preface and Introduction is available at: