Radioactivity of timber in Finland

Radioactivity of timber in Finland

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AbstractA study was made to analyse 134Cs and 137Cs in Finnish timber and to assess doses from 137Cs in timber used as building material. Samples consisted of 87 discs of logs of Norway spruce, Scots pine and birch (Betula spp.) from 47 municipalities located in the main Chernobyl fallout area in southern and central Finland. Activity concentrations were determined for wood and bark separately. Activity concentrations of 137Cs in debarked timber were a few tens of Bq kg-1 'stock weight' (80 % dry matter). A considerable part of Finnish timber is produced in less contaminated areas where activity concentrations are low. The annual doses were only a few percent of the action level of 1 mSv per year for exposure from gamma radiation from natural radioactive substances in building materials originating from rock and soil (ST Guide 12.2, 17 December 2010, STUK). No restrictions for use of Finnish timber were needed due to radiocaesium derived from Chernobyl fallout. 
STAR partnerSTUK
Type of dataResearch
Sample number101 - 500
QualityPrior to 1999 in-house quality evaluation
Spatially referencedNo
Ecosystem typeTerrestrial
Sample typeTimber
StatusCompleted study
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Data are provided on request without restriction. Contact: 

Key reference sourcesResults are published annually in STUK-A report series, e.g.
Rantavaara A. Radioactivity of timber. STUK-A133. Helsinki: Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority; 1996. (in Finnish with English summary)
Data ownershipSTUK
Database formatExcel
Figure information 

finland , chernobyl , infoex


Prepared by STAR NoE