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Radiation


1. Natural radiation has always been present in the earth, our food and water and the air we breathe. It is estimated that approximately 86% of all human exposure to radiation is attributable to natural sources, almost 14% to medical sources such as X-rays and cancer treatment, and less than 1% to other man-made exposures such as weapons testing, fall-out from nuclear accidents, discharges from the nuclear industry, and occupational exposures.

 

2. The accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Ukraine which occurred in 1986 led to public concern about levels of radiation. In response to this, in 1988 the Radioactive Incident Monitoring Network (RIMNET) was set up in order to monitor levels of gamma radiation at 46 locations throughout the country

 

3. Independently of RIMNET, in Bedfordshire the local authorities set up a monitoring scheme co-ordinated by Bedford Borough Council Emergency Planning Department. The aim of the scheme is to provide baseline information against which future trends could be compared in order to provide early warning of any changes and potential problems. Two monitoring sites are located within the Bedford Borough area, and levels are consistently within the recommended range.

 

4. In recent years there has been a great deal of concern about naturally occurring radiation and its effects on human health. Most of this arises from Radon gas. Radon originates from uranium present in earth materials and can accumulate in confined spaces such as mines, ducting and underfloor spaces. Long term exposure can result in an increased risk of lung cancer. The National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB) has established a safe limit for radon in homes, and offers a testing service. Houses with elevated radon levels can be adapted if necessary by installing underfloor ventilation and providing an impervious membrane to the ground floor. More information is available from the NRPB, Radon Survey, Chilton, Didcot, Oxon. OX11 ORQ. Their website address is:

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20140714084352/h
ttp://www.hpa.org.uk/webw/HPAweb&Page&HPAwebContentAreaLanding/Page/1153822623782

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Environment

Here you will find information on environmental and planning issues. This section provides a wealth of information including details on how to make or enquire about a planning application, rubbish, waste and recycling information.

 


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